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Nubra (Ladakh) from prehistory to history: first results of the Mission archéologique Franco-Indian

Laurianne Bruneau
Maître de conférences (EPHE, SHP), CRCAO/UMR8155

Created in 2012, the Franco-Indian archaeological Mission to Ladakh (MAFIL) is a cooperation project between the Archaeological Survey of India and the CRCAO. After a general presentation of the project and its objectives, the preliminary results of the two first campaigns of field (2013 and 2014) will be exposed.

For the period 2013-2016, the MAFIL focuses on Nubra, northernmost region of Ladakh and therefore the Northwest India. The role of the Nubra as door to and from Central Asia, and more specifically the Tarim basin, is well known for the recent historical period.

Surveys conducted between 2006 and 2011 have identified 60 archaeological sites typologically and chronologically varied. Among these is a large rock site with thousands of figures illustrating thematic and stylistic links with Central Asia proto-historic images. Based on this discovery, attesting to the antiquity of the cultural ties between the Nubra and the Central Asian world, the MAFIL aims to establish a chrono-cultural sequence of the Nubra and therefore understand the intensity of these links over time.

The results of archaeological, geomorphological surveys and Geophysics of the year 2013 will be presented as the results of the ceramic study, initiated in 2013 and in 2014. We will bring our attention to Tirisa and Deskit sites that, as we shall see, contribute to the understanding of physical contacts with the world of the steppes, the vicinity of Khotan or the Swāt Valley before the second millennium of our era.