Dr Cameron Petrie - Reader in South Asian and Iranian Archaeology
My research has focused on the investigation of early complex societies, and has a wide chronological and geographical scope that spans ancient South and West Asia. I have extensive field and research experience at archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic up to the medieval period in India, Pakistan and Iran, and have co-directed collaborative research projects in each of these countries.
I am particularly interested in the rise of complexity, the socio-economic aspects of city and state formation, the impact that the growth of states and empires has on subjugated regions, and the relationships between humans and the environment.
My PhD research investigated the Hindu Shahi and Ghaznavid period occupation in the Bannu region of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, and I was also a member of the Bannu Archaeological Project. My ongoing research in northwest India is investigating the nature of human adaptation, resilience and response to variable environments and climate change, and the strategies of adaptation and resilience that complex socio-political systems use to survive. My research in Iran is shifting to the investigation of the relationship between trade and human mobility in the third millennium BC, particularly as these dynamics relate to the Bronze Age linkages between Mesopotamia, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Indus Civilisation.
Different Trajectories to Indus Urbanism
The Indus Civilisation was the most extensive of the great early complex societies of the Old World, and during its urban phase (c.2600-1900 B.C.) it spanned large parts of modern Pakistan and India. This enormous zone was climatically, environmentally and ecologically diverse, and benefitted from both summer and winter rain, though the distribution of rain from each system was variable. Environmental factors placed specific constraints on cultural behaviour and the choices open to the inhabitants of the various Indus regions, particularly those related to subsistence, but there were also strong commonalities in certain cultural behaviours over long distances. This paper will explore the nature diversity in approaches to urbanism and the role of water in the Indus world.