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Title: Revisiting Taxila
Subtitle: A New Approach to the Graeco-Buddhist Archaeological Record
Author(s): VAN AERDE, M.E.J.J.
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 17    Date: 2018   
Pages: 203-229
DOI: 10.2143/AWE.17.0.3284895

Abstract :
This study explores a new perspective on the archaeological record of Taxila in the Gandhara region through object-focused analyses and considering wider historical implications, in order to understand better cultural interaction in ancient Central Asia. The city of Taxila was a nodal point between ‘East’ and ‘West’, well-known for its so-called Graeco-Buddhist artefacts. These objects have traditionally been categorised according to ethnic and/or cultural criteria, which has led to incorrect interpretations of the archaeological record that still prevail today. This article presents a new analysis of the data to investigate how different cultural elements interacted in Taxila. The introduction gives a brief summary of the still prevailing approach of Graeco-Buddhist scholarship, and outlines the present study’s aims. The next section presents an overview of the excavation, documentation and current interpretation of the Taxila site. The third and largest section contains six case studies from Taxila’s archaeological record, aiming to provide concrete examples of the bottom-up approach that this study seeks to generate. The concluding section discusses the results in more general terms and presents new angles for future research.

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