Inscriptions of Nature: Geology and the Naturalization of Antiquity

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Inscriptions of Nature investigates the historical processes through which the past became naturalised. It explores how the deep past of nature became pervasive in historical imagination. In doing so, it challenges the way we have imagined the relationship between nature and history. It argues that how we think about the past became indelibly stained by our ideas of the deep history of nature, landscape and geography in the nineteenth century. The book studies these processes along the banks of Yamuna and Ganga, in the Himalayan crests, in the deep ravines and forests of central India, and in their associated myths and legends. The book shows that due to this naturalization of the past, geomythologies acquired powerful naturalised motifs in India. This became especially vivid and articulated in the nineteenth century when myths were linked to specific geographical sites and geological phenomenon. In other words, myths appeared real as they were inscribed into the landscape and thereby into the deep past of the nation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages280
ISBN (Print)9781421438740
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020
EventInscriptions of Nature Book Launch event -
Duration: 4 Dec 20204 Dec 2020


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