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Vazira Zamindar
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)
Archaeology, Islam and the Making of Gandhara Art in Modern 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.The study sheds light on contemporary questions around Islam's relationship to non-Islamic material culture by examining in local and historical specificity 1) the transformations in the meaning of this site, 2) as well as the changing relationship of the Pathan Muslims of the region to this very site. It traces these transformations through the interventions of colonial and postcolonial archaeology and art history, but pays specific attention to the 'small histories on the ground' in which Pathan Muslim and other Indian actors participated in the activities of the Archaeological Survey of India, and enabled the indigenous 'owning' of this Buddhist heritage. The NEH Summer Stipend will support archival research on the colonial period of this project.

Project fields:
South Asian History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 8/31/2008