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This book offers a critical synthesis of the archaeology of South Asia from the Neolithic period (c.6500 BCE), when domestication began, to the spread of Buddhism accompanying the Mauryan Emperor Asoka's reign (third century BCE). The authors examine the growth and character of the Indus civilisation, with its town planning, sophisticated drainage systems, vast cities and international trade. They also consider the strong cultural links between the Indus civilisation and the second, later period of South Asian urbanism which began in the first millennium BCE and developed through the early first millennium CE. In addition to examining the evidence for emerging urban complexity, this book gives equal weight to interactions between rural and urban communities across South Asia and considers the critical roles played by rural areas in social and economic development. The authors explore how narratives of continuity and transformation have been formulated in analyses of South Asia's Prehistoric and Early Historic archaeological record.