This volume cross-examines the stability of heritage as a concept. It interrogates the past which materialises through multi-layered narratives on monuments and other objects that sustain cultural diversity. It seeks to understand how interpretations of “monuments” as “texts” are affected at the local level of experience, even as institutions such as UNESCO work to globalise and fix constructs of stable and universal heritage.
Shifting away from a largely Eurocentric concept associated with architecture and monumental archaeology, this book reassesses how local and regional heritage needs to be balanced with the global and transnational. It argues that material objects and monuments are not static embodiments of culture but are, rather, a medium through which identity, power and society are produced and reproduced. This is especially relevant in South and Southeast Asian contexts, where debates over heritage often have local, regional and national political implications and consequences.
Reevaluating how traditional valuation of monuments and cultural landscapes could help aid sustainability and long-term preservation of the heritage, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers of South and Southeast Asian history, heritage studies, archaeology, cultural studies, tourism studies and political history as well.
Table of Contents
List of Figures. List of Contributors. Preface. 1. Introduction Part I: World Heritage Sites and Cartographies 2. One World, Two Missions: UNESCO World Heritage in the Making 3. Valuation of World Heritage 4. The Multivalence of Landscapes: Archaeology and Heritage Part II: Case Studies of World Heritage Sites in India 5. Monumentality, Nature and World Monuments: The Rock-Cut Sites of Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta in Maharashtra 6. Removable Heritage: Nalanda Beyond the Mahavihara 7. The Qutub Minar Complex and the Village of Mehrauli: Multiple Meanings in Monuments Part III: Transnational Heritage 8. Beyond World Heritage: Lumbinī – The Creation of a More Meaningful Site? 9. The Implementation of Tri Hita Karana on the World Heritage of Taman Ayun and Tirta Empul Temples as Tourist Attractions in Bali 10. Transnational Heritage: Building Bridges for the Future
Himanshu Prabha Ray is Honorary Professor of the Distant Worlds Programme, Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. She is former Chairperson, National Monuments Authority, Ministry of Culture in New Delhi, India, and former Professor in the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Her research interests include Maritime History and Archaeology of the Indian Ocean, the History of Archaeology in South and Southeast Asia and the Archaeology of Religion in Asia. Her recent books include Archaeology and Buddhism in South Asia (2018), Buddhism and Gandhara: An Archaeology of Museum Collections (ed. 2018), The Archaeology of Sacred Spaces: The Temple in Western India, 2nd century BCE to 8th century CE (with Susan Verma Mishra, 2017), The Return of the Buddha: Ancient Symbols for a New Nation (2014) and The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia (2003). Her edited volumes include Bridging the Gulf: Maritime Cultural Heritage of the Western Indian Ocean (2016), Indian World Heritage Sites in Context (2014), The Sea, Identity and History: From the Bay of Bengal to the South China Sea (with Satish Chandra, 2013).