The geographical location of Arunachal Pradesh makes it important for studies in South Asian Archaeology. This Indian state is biogeographically connected with South China and Northern Myanmar; across the Himalayas it is connected with Tibet, and thence to Central Asia; through the passes of the Patkai Range of mountains it is connected with SoutheastAsia. Naturally, diverse cultural and anthropological traits and elements have travelled across this landscape from time immemorial. The imprints of these movements are visible in various archaeological sites scattered all over the state making Arunachal Pradesh rich in archaeological data-particularly prehistoric archaeology, epigraphy, and art and architecture. But these facts have eluded mainstream archaeological interest till now and resultantly the state has remained by and large unrepresented within the main body of authoritative writings on archaeology of India.
The primary objective of the present monograph is to bring together publications in English of different periods, from the rare earliest writings of British political agents, tea planters, and surveyors to the recent publications on archaeology and ethno-history of Arunachal Pradesh. Such writings, organized chronologically and thematically in this sourcebook, were published in academic journals like Anthropos, Man, Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Provincial Gazetteers, Annual Reports of the Archaeological Survey of India,Arunachal Newsjournal of theAssam Research Society, etc.
Sukanya Sharma teaches Archaeology in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. She has been engaged in archaeological research in Northeast India for the last ten years. Her first book Celts, Flakes and Bifaces: The Garo Hills Story was an attempt to relook at the prehistoric archaeological record from Garo Hills, Meghalaya and situate the evidence in the larger archaeological context of South and Southeast Asia. The present monograph is a similar attempt by the author to locate the archeological record ofArunachal Pradesh in a broader trans-regional space.