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Understanding Storage Pits: An Ethno-Archaeological Study of Underground Grain Storage in Coastal Odisha, India

Understanding Storage Pits: An Ethno-Archaeological Study of Underground Grain Storage in Coastal... <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>Preservation of grain has been a matter of concern for humankind through time. Various types of grain storage facilities are reported from archaeological sites in India, the earliest being from the Neolithic period. Most of these are in the form of pits, which are diverse in style and fashioning. In general, archaeological pits are classified as storage pits, pit silos, dwelling pits, and garbage pits on the basis of morphology, size, and content. To understand the functional use of pits requires not only archaeological acumen in the field and scientific study in a lab but a thorough understanding of existing practices of pit construction and use. Ethnoarchaeological research in a country like India, where many such traditions are still practiced, plays a vital role in identifying grain storage pits. Ethnographically, the most popular storage methods in India are above ground, including various kinds of easily transported bamboo containers, bags, baskets, wooden and tin boxes, storage pots, jars, and clay bins. One of the few places where underground storage facilities (pits) remain in use is in the Ganjam district of Odisha. This article documents the process of underground grain storage in this district and attempts to interpret archaeological evidence for pit storage in other parts of India.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Perspectives University of Hawai'I Press

Understanding Storage Pits: An Ethno-Archaeological Study of Underground Grain Storage in Coastal Odisha, India

Asian Perspectives , Volume 60 (1) – May 28, 2021

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1535-8283

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>Preservation of grain has been a matter of concern for humankind through time. Various types of grain storage facilities are reported from archaeological sites in India, the earliest being from the Neolithic period. Most of these are in the form of pits, which are diverse in style and fashioning. In general, archaeological pits are classified as storage pits, pit silos, dwelling pits, and garbage pits on the basis of morphology, size, and content. To understand the functional use of pits requires not only archaeological acumen in the field and scientific study in a lab but a thorough understanding of existing practices of pit construction and use. Ethnoarchaeological research in a country like India, where many such traditions are still practiced, plays a vital role in identifying grain storage pits. Ethnographically, the most popular storage methods in India are above ground, including various kinds of easily transported bamboo containers, bags, baskets, wooden and tin boxes, storage pots, jars, and clay bins. One of the few places where underground storage facilities (pits) remain in use is in the Ganjam district of Odisha. This article documents the process of underground grain storage in this district and attempts to interpret archaeological evidence for pit storage in other parts of India.</p>

Journal

Asian PerspectivesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: May 28, 2021

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