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Reconnaissance survey was conducted at the site; in addition, an examination was made of the previously-excavated materials from the site, which are now housed in New Delhi. Both of these activities served to provide insights that assisted in the formation of the field program.
At the site itself, reconnaissance survey focused on the assessment of modern impacts, the variety of artifact types that could be expected from the surface, and strategies for mapping and data-collection. Since the site is located near the rapidly-growing edge of modern Bhubaneswar, it is relatively easy to access the area. Modern Bhubaneswar is the capital of the state of Orissa, and is one of the three anchors of the "Golden Triangle" along with Konark and Puri.
Walking the ramparts, exterior, and interior of the site of Sisupalgarh, it is clear that a variety of archaeological materials such as ceramics and stone debris are evident on the surface. By constructing a map of the distributions of different ceramic types along with production debris from different types of stone-working, it will be possible to show the parts of the city that were economically specialized.
In many places, there are also architectural remains that are evident on the site's surface. In the center of the site are 13 monumental columns, as well as a single unshaped monolith. Other signs of large-scale planned architecture include a stone-lined tank (artificial pond) near the center of the site, and eight formal gateways, nearly all of which are still clearly lined with laterite blocks. The construction of these gateways was shown in the 1948 excavations to be rather complex, with stairs and relatively constricted openings (Lal 1949).
The rampart walls show traces of bricks and brick fragments that were emplaced at different times in the site's occupation. While the outline and the initial construction of the ramparts was done as a single planned activity, the further additions to the rampart may have been done on a neighborhood or district basis as well as by the city's paramount leaders. At the nearby caves at Udayagiri, an inscription dated to the first century A.D. mentions the works of the ruler Kharavela who "caused to be repaired the gate, rampart and structures of the fort of Kalinganagari, which had been damaged by storm" (Sahu, N.K. Kharavela. 1984:334).
_______1991 _______ Planned Cooperation Between Archaeologists and Scholars of Ancient Literature -- A Crying Need. Man and Environment 16(1):5-21.
_______1949 _______ Sisupalgarh 1948: An Early Historical Fort in Eastern India. Ancient India 5:62-105.
Smith, Monica L.
_______2005 _______ Archaeological research at Sisupalgarh, an Early Historic city in eastern India. South Asian Archaeology 2003, edited by Ute Franke-Vogt and Hans-Joachim Weisshaar. Kommission für Archäologie Außereuropäischer Kulturen, Aachen, pp 297-306.
_______2003 _______ Urban social networks: Early walled cities of the Indian subcontinent as “small worlds.” In The Social Construction of Ancient Cities, edited by Monica L. Smith, pp. 269-289. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.
_______2002 _______ The role of local trade networks in the Indian subcontinent during the Early Historic period. Man and Environment 27(1):139-151.
_______2002 _______ Systematic survey at the Early Historic urban site of Sisupalgarh, Orissa. In Archaeology of Eastern India: New Perspectives, edited by Gautam Sengupta and Sheena Panja, pp. 109-125. Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training, East India, Kolkata.
_______2001 _______ Integración social, espacial y económica en las antiguas ciudades del subcontinente Indio, translated by M.a Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León and Andrés Ciudad Ruiz. In Reconstruyendo la Ciudad Maya: El Urbanismo en las Sociedades Antiguas, edited by Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, M.a Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León and M.a del Carmen Martínez Martínez, pp. 503-522. Sociedad Espa?ola de Estudios Mayas, Madrid.
We would like to thank the Government of India for permission to work at Sisupalgarh, and for the logistical support provided by the Bhubaneswar Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India during the course of this reconnaissance. Much appreciation goes to the Geological Survey of India for their assistance with identifications of materials. We would also like to thank the American Institute of Indian Studies for administrative support. Funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Additional support was provided by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, the Department of Anthropology, UCLA, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.
Monica L. Smith
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