Indus Civilization Publication by UPM Curator Gregory Possehl is Winner of 2003 Choice Magazine Award for Outstanding Academic Book

16 JANUARY 2004, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, a new book by Dr. Gregory Possehl, Asian Section Curator of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, has been awarded the prestigious Choice Magazine Award for Outstanding Academic Book for 2003.

A leading expert in the history and archaeology of the ancient Indus Civilization, Dr. Possehl has been engaged in archaeological research in India and Pakistan since 1964. His research interests have taken him from Iron Age megaliths to Mesolithic encampments, and he has directed excavations at Rojdi in Gujarat and, currently, Gilund in southern Rajasthan, India. In addition to his curatorial position at UPM, Dr. Possehl is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Possehl has written and edited a number of important books on the Indus Civilization and related topics. The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective (AltaMira Press, 2002) is an introductory text, offering a broad examination of what is currently known about this major yet still-enigmatic civilization that occupied parts of India and Pakistan from about 2500 to 1900 B.C.

Choice magazine is the key publication for academic librarians across the nation selecting books for collections. Each year, the magazine chooses the most outstanding volumes in each discipline to acknowledge excellent scholarship and craft. The award is given each year at the annual meeting of the American Library Association.

The book has received widespread praise, including these comments:

"This book by a well-known anthropologist puts together all that is known about this fascinating culture. He examines the economic, agricultural, religious and artistic aspects of this ancient civilisation and draws some startling conclusions. He comes out with theories that would upset scholars and writers of textbooks... explosive observations of the author... make this volume valuable for scholars, students and lay readers alike. " —Jaswant Singh, THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE-SPECTRUM

"This volume offers the best description and analysis of the nature of [Indus] civilization. Illustrated with an abundance of line drawings, charts, and maps, the volume richly illuminates architecture, material culture, and arts and crafts....Offering the best available presentation of the Indus civilization, this volume successfully fulfills the needs of both general readers and specialists...Essential...[f]or all those interested in ancient civilizations" -—C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, CHOICE REVIEWS ONLINE, JUNE 2003

"Possehl's book is more detailed, and in particular highlights his ability to synthesize information into a coherent whole. In addition he offers a number of hypotheses that will serve as catalysts for academic debate." —LONDON TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, 280 pages ($29.95 paper; $80 cloth, plus a shipping and handling fee), is on sale through the Museum Shop at (877) 359-4695 (toll free long distance) or (215) 898-4040 (local).

Founded in 1887, the University of Pennsylvania Museum is dedicated to the study of the cultural history and diversity of humankind. An active research and educational institution, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all parts of the inhabited world. With materials from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Bible lands and the Mediterranean, Asia, Polynesia, Africa and the Americas, its collections cross continents and span thousands of years of human achievement.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at http://www.penn.museum.


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