[INDOLOGY] “Experimental Archaeology” and Paa.ninian grammar? /// was: Re: Pot making in ancient India

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Mon Jun 17 00:04:21 UTC 2013

As remarked in this thread, the term “experimental archaeology” has been
used, apparently by extension, in cases that are not “archaeological” in
the strict sense of the word (e.g., in connection with reconstructions
based on data in the history of science such as experimental constructions
based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs of a parachute and a tank.)

By a similar extension of “experimental archaeological” methodology, would
it be possible to test Paa.nini’s “GRAMMAR” with regard to linguistic data
that are geographically and chronologically AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to this
ancient device of which the precise purpose and original context remain
unclear and disputed to this day?

In other words, would it be possible to give Paa.nini’s grammar a
“test-ride” in the ocean of early Middle Indic of which samples are
epigraphically attested, geographically and chronologically close to
Paa.nini’s native area: king Aśoka’s inscriptions, found throughout “India”
including the North West.?

One attempt to do this can be found in my « Nārāyaṇa Bhaṭṭa’s
Prakriyā-sarvasva and Pāṇini’s Śe. » that appeared in Studies in Sanskrit
Grammars : Proc. of the 14th World Skt. Conference, ed. by G. Cardona, A.
Aklujkar, H. Ogawa : 163-194 (Delhi: D.K. Publishers 2012), page 166
footnote 6 .
Jan Houben

On 16 June 2013 17:01, Francois Voegeli <francois.voegeli at gmail.com> wrote:

> Many thanks to Hermann Tull, Edeltraud HarzerClear and Jan Houben for
> their help with my query.
> In its wake, the question of experimental archaeology and its use for the
> study of ancient India has been raised by some.
> Kenoyer is doing a lot of it, but essentially in the field of harappan
> archaeology (last I know, more particularly in the case of bead making).
> Another field which could be extremely useful in this matter is not
> experimental archaeology, but ethnoarchaeology.
> During a recent ethnoarchaeological field trip in Nepal, I could document
> some extremely archaic way of pot making which could hold very valuable
> information to understand how the ukhā and mahāvavīra pots were actually
> made during the Agniṣṭoma and Agnicayana, and what this particular
> technique entails (its origin, the composition of the material, the
> durability of the pots, explain some strange saṃhitās/sūtras prescriptions,
> etc.).
> I plan to put this information on the web as soon as possible, and the
> complementary research I make now for this purpose prompted my query.
> Thanks again,
> Dr François Voegeli
> Senior FNS Researcher
> Institut d'Archéologie et des Sciences de l'Antiquité
> Anthropole, bureau 4018
> Faculté des Lettres
> Université de Lausanne
> CH-1015 Lausanne
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> http://listinfo.indology.info

Prof. Dr. Jan E.M. Houben,
Directeur d Etudes « Sources et Histoire de la Tradition Sanskrite »
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, SHP,
A la Sorbonne,45-47, rue des Ecoles,
75005 Paris -- France.
JEMHouben at gmail.com

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