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Grant number like: FA-54868-09

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Vazira Zamindar
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010

Archaeology, Islam, and the Making of Gandhara Art in Divided South Asia

This project investigates the colonial and postcolonial history of a World Heritage Gandharan Buddhist monastic complex from the 3rd century, called Takht-e-Bahi, which is located in a predominantly Muslim region in northern Pakistan. Engaging contemporary questions around Islam's relationship to non-Islamic material culture, this study examines in local and historical specificity 1) the transformations in the meaning of this site, 2) as well as the changing relationship of the Muslims of the region to this very site. It traces these transformations through the discursive and institutional interventions of colonial and postcolonial archaeology, but pays specific attention to the 'small histories on the ground' in which local Muslim actors participated in the making of archaeological knowledge, and which enabled the indigenous 'owning' of this Buddhist heritage.