Culture and Environment in the Upland Forests of South India from Antiquity to Early Modernity

The Nilgiri Archaeological Project is a 5-year research project (2021-2026) funded by the Odysseus Programme of the Flemish Research Council (FWO) with a Type II grant (n. G0F0621N) that was awarded to Daniela De Simone at Ghent University. The project is hosted by SANGH (UGent Centre for South Asian Studies) in collaboration with the French Institute of Pondicherry, the National Institute of Advanced Studies (Bengaluru) and the University of Naples “L’Orientale”.

The aim of the Nilgiri Archaeological Project is to move beyond the conventional view that sees South Indian upland forest-dwellers as secondary actors on the stage of global history, and change our understanding of the role they played in the making of world civilisation. To this end, a team of international researchers with expertise in Indian archaeology, palynology and palaeoecology, historical ethnobotany, ethnolinguistics, literature and epigraphy will focus on the Nilgiri Mountains in southern India, a region of montane subtropical forests and the homeland of several ethnic groups, from the start of the Common Era to the early 19th century.

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