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Close encounters: Multicultural systems in ancient India

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Chapter Summary

This chapter defines the particular forces that characterized the two multicultural societies such as northwestern region of the subcontinent and Deccan plateau, in an attempt to shed light on their response to different waves of foreign contact. This brief exploration of categories of Indian artifacts that appear to be in dialogue with western prototypes, hopefully sheds light on the mechanisms of reinterpretation and recontextualization of foreign models. The author has attempted to uncover how western forms impacted the artistic production of the Deccan Plateau and Greater Gandhara at the beginning of the current era. By doing so, the distinct characters of these two different multicultural areas can be brought into precise focus. The Deccan plateau, which was historically less exposed to foreign currents, became an international protagonist with the flourishing of maritime trade across the Indian Ocean.

Keywords: Deccan plateau; foreign immigration; foreign models; Greater Gandhara; Indian artifacts; maritime trade; multicultural systems



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