Cover Story

Linking the past and the present

Print edition : September 18, 2015

Romila Thapar: "There is always something to look forward to in the excitement of reading the past in order to understand the present." Photo: S. Subramanium

Harappan site (3000 BCE-1500 BCE) at Dholavira in Gujarat. Photo: Courtesy: ASI

A Steatite seal of the Harappan period, excavated at Khirsara, Gujarat. The Harappan culture was a highly literate one. Photo: V. V. Krishnan

This carved statue unearthed by the Archaeological Survey of India at Sannati in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka is believed to be depicting the emperor Asoka. Photo: ARUN KUMAR KULKARNI

One of the four rock edicts of the Mauryan empire found at the Buddhist site at Sannati in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The Great Stupa at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, which Asoka is believed to have started building. Photo: Anjana Chandramouly

A steatite seal from the Harappan period found at Bhirrana, Haryana. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

A steatite button seal, Harappan period, found in Baror, Rajasthan. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Decorated red ware from the early Harappan period found at Kalibangan, Rajasthan. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Sangam Age (first to third century A.D.) black and red ware found at Keezhadi in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu. Photo: R. ASHOK

Interview with the historian Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
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