This chapter presents an overview of the archaeology of a period known as the Deccan Chalcolithic. It begins by describing the origin and development of agrarian life in a semi-arid region of peninsular India. The chapter then focuses on the central question of what led to the collapse of these settlements at the end of the second millennium B.C., after hundreds of years of successful settlement. After describing prior research findings and interpretive models developed to explain the nature of the collapse, it outlines research questions for bioarchaeological investigation: What were the climatic circumstances surrounding the collapse? What can the archaeological record tell us about culture change in the Deccan Chalcolithic? How did human populations respond to these changes in terms of demography and health status?
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