Names a 4000-year-old pot Kim, after Kim Kardashian
Srinagar: An M.Phil in Archaeology course at the Centre for Asian Studies in Srinagar, Kashmir is offering 20 postgraduate students an opportunity to dig into Kashmir’s historic past
According to a report ‘Building a future in the past in Kashmir’ published in Our Stories. The piece is written by writer-editor, Catriona Child.
“The course is lead by Dr Ajmal Shah and Dr Mumtaz Yatoo. Dr Shah, a Tagore Fellow and expert on the Kushan period, has a PhD from the Pune Institute for Archaeology and Dr Yatoo, a Ford Fellow, did his doctoral thesis on Kashmir’s Neolithic at the University of Leicester in the UK,” the report says.
11 female and 9 male students make up the roll call in Kashmir’s first ever academic archaeology course.
A recent tie-up between the Centre for Asian Studies in Srinagar and the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of Sydney has helped the programme. The two departments have been collaborating on the Kashmiri Prehistory Project (KPP) since 2015. The report says that the objectives of the project is to uncover the origins of a distinctive Neolithic culture (Northern Neolithic), found only in Kashmir and other isolated pockets, such as the Swat Valley in Pakistan.
“Alison Betts, Professor of Silk Road Studies at Sydney and now an Adjunct Professor at Kashmir University, who leads the Australian team, is interested in the origins of agriculture in Asia,” the paper informs quoting Professor Betts saying that Kashmir was the place “where farming technologies, particularly millet and rice cultivation from China and wheat and barley cultivation from West Asia, met and crossed over.” This, she says, “is one of the earliest expressions of what later became the Silk Road, the path of trade between east and west.”
“In 2017, the KPP was rewarded by the discovery of a magnificent 4000-year old pot. As a tribute to its voluptuous shape, the team nicknamed it Kim, after Kim Kardashian,” the report says.
Catriona Child writes that Kashmir’s Neolithic era, which began around 6,000 years ago, was extraordinarily peaceful and, in prehistoric terms, comfortable. “While their Harappan contemporaries in the Indus Valley became urbanised and developed a sophisticated civilization, the farmers of Kashmir were happy to continue a bucolic existence in villages perched on terraces (karewas) above the soggy valley bottom,” she writes. “They tilled the rich lake deposits below their houses, kept sheep and goats, which grazed the high pastures in summer, and lived a life that changed little for 2000 years.”