Pre-thesis Colloquium: "Emergence of Urban Settlements in North Karnataka – c.300 BC-c.300 CE with particular reference to Sannati" by Ms. Hema Thakur, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 11.30hrs

National Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Science Campus



Pre-thesis Colloquium



Emergence of Urban Settlements in North Karnataka – c.300 BC-c.300 CE with particular reference to Sannati


Candidate: Ms. Hema Thakur


Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 11:30 am.


Abstract: Urbanization has been studied almost from the middle of twentieth century by historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists and city planners. An urban center performs specialized functions with respect to the hinterland.  In the process of urbanization relatively small settlements and simple communities develop into specialized centers and complex societies.  In the case of studies of urbanization from an archaeological or historical standpoint, the major benchmarks often used to contextualize urbanization are location and size of settlements, monumental structures, art, script and coins.  The issue of urbanization has been more widely explored in the case of northern India whereas it has been less well-studied with respect to Deccan and Karnataka in particular. Sannati (taluk Chittapura, district Gulbarga) is the principal site of enquiry.  It is a Maurya-Satavahana settlement with some evidence for the megalithic age/iron age.  Kanaganahalli and other adjacent sites such as Anegutti, Benagutti, Hasargundgi are well endowed with structural remains of Buddhist affiliation, particularly stupas.  In this context the impact of prevailing ideological/religious beliefs on the contemporary socio-political order assumes importance. As may be inferred from Brahmi inscriptions, the Buddhist monastic classes and the paraphernalia depended upon the surplus which was perhaps being appropriated by the landed elite. In the context of early historic Karnataka it is also important to note that a brick structure, possibly a granary was located at Vadgaon-Madhvapur.  The available inscriptions hint at the presence of an active elite who were interested in contributing towards the contemporary religious movements. There were several instances of donation. For instance, in the sixteenth reignal year of Chimukha Satavahana sculpted encasements were donated by a householder Tokhisa.  The extremely rich and varied antiquities along with fine sculptures, complex structures are suggestive of the fact that material culture had attained maturity specially with respect to the antecedent cultures.  Here the contribution of Mauryas and later the Satavahanas becomes important as they introduced new cultural traits which were adopted by the local communities in their day-to-day life.  They had spread into Karnataka from outside but seem to have played a crucial role in facilitating the transition from proto-historic to the early historic.  Trade and maritime contacts with the Roman world also provided impetus towards urbanization.  In the early centuries of Christian era there were definite indications of social complexity and establishment of a political order and this constituted trends and patterns which seem to have met the yardsticks of urbanization. These yardsticks of urbanization can be identified in North Karnataka, particularly at Sannati around the beginning of Christian era, even when seen in comparison to other early historic landscapes in northern India and the Deccan.


All are invited to attend

Wednesday, September 20, 2017