This past June, postdoctoral researcher Navjot Kour joined GIAP (ICAC) for the two-year project RIVERINE: Mapping archaeological mounds and long-term socio-ecological transformations in riverine monsoonal plains (Agencia Estatal de Investigación PCI2021-122026-2B).
The project revolves around the interactions between the hydrological resources of the Jammu and Kashmir regions, in northwestern India, and the exploitation of the landscape during the Indus Valley Civilization (3500 BC – 1900 BC), through the combined study of settlement patterns and their material culture, and making use of innovative tools in the field of computational archaeology.
RIVERINE incorporates the usage of multiple historical datasets for landscape-based studies, handling the new multi-source remote sensing procedures, integrating the robust geostatistical tool in the existing toolkit, and enabling the computational reproducibility for landscape research. The project draws on an interdisciplinary approach that combines elements from archaeology, historical geography, fluvial geomorphology, remote sensing, and statistical computing.
The inclusion of large-scale multi-temporal EO data, coupled with classifications based on machine-learning workflows and new calibrated dating of archaeological mounds is aimed to provide quantifiable data that goes well beyond the simple statement of a possible relationship between archaeological sites and hydrological features (e.g., paleochannels). These analyses aim to investigate the nature of this relationship, and how early riverine settlers were affected by and ultimately adapted to changing environmental conditions. In this regard, RIVERINE will advance current approaches in South Asian archaeology. The project is also aimed to provide new tools and workflows for the study of endangered riverine landscapes elsewhere.
Since 2015, Navjot has been active in the archaeological exploration of India’s North-Western Plains. In 2010, she earned her bachelor’s degree. After earning a double master’s degree in History and Archaeology in 2012 and 2014 respectively, she joined the Ph.D. program at MS University of Baroda Gujarat in 2015. Her research focused on the Archaeological Investigation of the Outer Plains of Jammu (India), with the primary goal of identifying the archaeological legacy of the area and comprehending the early inhabitants’ landscape adaptation techniques.
Welcome Navjot! We wish you a lot of success with the project, and that you enjoy your stay in Tarragona!