Madayi, A medieval cosmopolitan community in Karala state, southwest India

The term „Silk Road“ brings to mind images of long journeys across Central Asia. In reality far more goods were transported by ship along the Southern or Ocean Silk Road. Recent archaeological work at Madayi, Kerala state, in south India presents us with a world of extensive international commerce but also served as the formation of cosmopolitan multi-cultural communities that continue to thrive today. Compositional analysis of glazed ceramics recovered from the Madayi area and conducted at Masaryk University and Brno University of Technology provides evidence for this international trade and its diversity.

Date: 2023, April 25th
Time: 16:00
Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Brno, Čechyňská 363/19

About David Hill

David V. Hill is an archaeologist who received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. The focus of his dissertation was to distinguish the sources of Sasanian and Early Islamic Period glaze-decorated ceramics from Mesopotamia, using petrographic analysis, neutron activation analysis and laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectroscopy. This research is continuing through collaboration with archaeological scientists at the Institute of Geology, Masaryk University. He has examined prehistoric ceramics from the Philippines, North and South America, the Caribbean, China, and most recently India. Currently he is using petrographic analysis to distinguish decorated ceramics that were produced in indigenous communities in north-central New Mexico (USA), but recovered some 750km away in western Kansas. He is also beginning a study of indigenous ceramics from Leyte, Philippines. He has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, American Antiquity, and Archaeometry.