Chronology and Terminology

Wednesday, 09 July 2003

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My terminology and why I use the terms I do.


Indus Civilization, Harappan Civilization, Indus-Sarasvati Civilization, Sarasvati Civilization, Indo-Sumerian Culture, Indus Age, and Harappan Tradition have all been used to describe the culture focused in the Indus and Ghaggar-Harka (Sarasvati) River Valleys from approximately 2600 to 1300 B.C.E. Some are inaccurate. Some are politicized with highly emotional connotations. This paper will endeavor to utilize, whenever possible, the term Harappan Civilization. Reasons are that this term removes politics and emotion from the naming process by relying on an old convention that a culture be named after its place of first discovery. The use of civilization is meant to incorporate the widespread Harappan Tradition as well as other cultures and ethnicities which interacted together. It denotes the important overall concept being studied (i.e., civilization). The term is similar to Possehl’s "Indus Age," but does not have the temporal extent.

The abbreviations B.C.E. (Before the Current Era) and C.E. (Current Era) will be utilized throughout this paper in the place of B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini). This deviation is in recognition of the fact that the majority of the world’s population, not to mention the population under study is non-Christian. The use of imperialistic and religiously condescending terminology is rude and insulting. It is also pragmatic enough to recognize that the current dating system is dominant and thus changes only the terminology and not the temporal orientation.

Use Ghaggar-Harka instead of Sarasvati


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