The editors are happy to release the second issue of the journal Ancient Asia, which was long overdue. Due to the circumstances beyond our control, there has been inordinate delay in publishing this issue. However, the future issues of the journal will be published on time annually.
The present issue carries ten research articles, ranging in time and subject matter from fifth millennium BCE Protohistoric to the Historical period and covering the region from Bangladesh in the east to Iran in the west.
Not much research is being done on the ancient climatic condition and its impact on the cultures in South Asia. We are happy to include a paper by Mehdi Murtazavi and Fariba Negari from Iran on Past and Present: Human –Environment Interaction in the Bampur Valley in Iran. The paper discusses Human-Environment interaction from 5th millennium BC to the present time. Tejas Garge has contributed important paper on Sothi-Siswal Ceramic Assemblage: A Reappraisal, wherein he is trying to evolve suitable terminology for the wealth of Protohistoric ceramics discovered recently in the Ghaggar region. J. Manuel, through his paper The Enigmatic Mushtikas and the Associated Triangular Terracotta Cakes: Some Observations has offered functional attributes and interpretations, which are different from those proposed by earlier scholars. The site of Balathal near Udaipur was excavated horizontally between 1993-2000 and has produced ample data on different aspects of life-style of the Chalcolithic and Early Historic periods. Astha Dibyopama has done intensive and extensive site catchment survey of the site and her paper titled Site Catchment Analysis of Balathal presents results of her research. Preeti Panjwani and Bratati Sen presented a paper Painted Decorations on Pottery from Chalcolithic sites of Gujarat: A Preliminary Study in the first Congress of SOSAA in Mumbai and we are happy to record that this paper won Prof. Ajay Mitra Shashtri Gold Medal. Their paper is included in this issue, which deals with Chalcolithic cultural conglomeration in Gujarat through the study of decorative painted motifs on their pottery. Qasid Malla from Khairpur, Pakistan has done extensive and intensive survey in the region close to the Indian border and his paper An Archaeological Assessment of Taung Valley of Sindh-Kohistan, Pakistan records the discovery of sites from Mesolithic to the pre-Modern nomadic activities. The Western India has the largest number of rock-cut caves excavated during the Early Historical period and numerous scholars have done extensive researches on them. Kishor Gaikwad in his paper Patronage and Support: Socio-Cultural Role of Kanheri Caves in the Evolving Interactions has discussed the factors responsible in the evolution of the State under the Satavahana rule in the Deccan focusing on the Kanheri caves near Mumbai. Gethin Rees in his paper A Hiatus in the Cutting of Buddhist Caves in the Western Deccan explains expansion of Buddhist monasteries in the Western Deccan in its wider context examining how social, political and economic forces might have impacted on the tempo of Buddhist cave cuttings. The sites of Wari- Bateshwar in Bagladesh is known to have played important role in the Indian Ocean Maritime trade from 4th century BCE. Shahnaj Husne Jahan carried out fresh explorations and excavations at the site and her paper Archaeology of Wari-Bateshwar deals with the cultural material recovered from the site. Rita Datta's paper Swastika Symbol on Barhut Stone Railing deals with classification and description of Swastika symbols as depicted in the Barhut remains, especially railings.