Uthara Suvrathan will be giving a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Monday, January 30 at 12:15 pm. Her talk is entitled “And One King to Rule Them All? Investigating Religious and Political Landscapes in Pre-modern South India through Archaeology, Inscriptions, and Maps.”

Uthara Suvrathan is a Visiting Fellow at Bard Graduate Center, where she is completing her book manuscript Persistent Peripheries: Archaeological and Historical Landscapes of an Early City in South India, 3rd c. BCE–18th c. CE. Her research draws on both archaeological and textual material to examine the organization of polities and places on the margins of large socio-political systems and empires in South Asia. She is also involved in collaborative projects aimed at preserving the archaeological heritage in South India and the sharing of archaeological data between scholars working in the region. Working with colleagues in India and the United States, these projects involve the documentation and preservation of previously un-recorded historic inscriptions, as well as the creation of a shareable database recording archaeological site information collected by scholars working across South Asia. Her publications include “Spoiled for Choice? The Sacred Landscapes of Ancient and Early Medieval Banavasi” in South Asian Studies (Vol. 30.2, 2014) and “Regional Centres and Local Elite: Studying Peripheral Cores in Peninsular India” in Indian History (The Annual Journal of the Archive India Institute, Vol. 1, 2014). She received her PhD from the University of Michigan.

In this talk, Suvrathan will discuss the results of an archaeological research project that investigated long-term history in a regional capital located on the periphery of larger, often ephemeral, states and empires in ancient South India. She will examine a variety of data (material culture, inscriptions, and historical maps) to highlight the fluidity of elite political and religious strategies, and reconstruct the nature and distribution of regional administrative and religious centers in south central India (the modern state of Karnataka).