Elena Bacchin

Greek remains in the Indian subcontinent. Rubino Ventura digging the stupa of Manikyala in the 1830s

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Keywords: Archaeology, Imperialism, Greek Myth, Historical Knowledge, Indian Subcontinent.

Taking into account the experience of a Modenese exile, this article explores the initial phases of archaeological discovery and the elaboration and development of protoscientific techniques used to exhume ruins and catalogue coins. In Punjab, Ventura re-invented his identity by working as an instructor in the Maharaja Sikh’s army and exhuming a building that he believed to be of Greek origins, thus revolutionizing antiquarianism in the area and contributing to the body of knowledge concerning the history of the Hellenistic kingdoms. The paper investigates representations of Indian history in accordance with the figure of Alexander the Great and foreign influences, as well as the impact of imperialistic instances of knowledge and classification of historical remains, and the roles of soldiers and explorers in the archaeological domain.

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