The Lingayat Temple of Seminatum in the Nilgiri Mountains of South India

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Allen Zagarell (Ph.D. 1978 Freie Universitaet, W. Berlin).  Professor. Old World Archaeology (Middle East and South Asia) at Western Michigan University. Specialty areas include: The Archaeology of the State, Inequality and Resistance, Relations of Class, Gender and Ethnicity, Political Economy, Archaeological Theory.

He attended DeWitt Clinton High School and City College in New York. He did graduate work at the Oriental Institute (University of Chicago) and then the Freie Universitaet of Berlin. He was a journeyman electrician (IBEW #3) before finishing his BA at City College. Zagarell has taught at Oberlin College, Ohio State University and Duke University among other institutions. He has been active in the Civil Rights and Labor movements.

Zagarell is one of three archaeologists (W. Cremin and M. Nassaney) in Western Michigan's Anthropology Department.The direction of the archeology program emphasizes questions of Material Culture and relations of power. WMU offers a BA program in Anthropology and an MA program in Anthropology which allows one to concentrate in Archaeology. See the Graduate and Undergraduate Catalog for details. Click here for a personal look at my family and I.

South India/Nilgiri Mountains
Begun in 1984 an important goal of the project was to provide the historical context for the emergence of the symbiotic relationships among several caste-like communities living deep within the Nilgiri mountains. The prevailing view of Nilgiri Mountain history was a region largely isolated from state-organized South India operating in the plains below. However, the results of this work strongly suggest more profound and protracted relations between ethnic community and state society in the region. The project is attempting to understand the complex interplay of historical forces, the interaction of states and communities, which gave rise to the largely egalitarian groups which were said to be the native inhabitants of the region. The project combines archaeological method, ethnoarchaeology and oral history. Major finds include:
  • Rock art
  • Megalithic Graves
  • Reliefs
  • Inscriptions
  • Maps 

  • Bakhtiari Mountains of Southwest Iran

    The Bakhtiari project was begun in 1974 and was interrupted in 1978 by the Iranian Revolution. The project focused upon the long-term history (Epi-paleolithic-Bronze Age-Iron Age) and changing patterns of settlement over time. The research has also focused on the long-term adaptations, in an ecological and historical context of the peoples of this high mountain zone bordering the heartland of Mesopotamian civilization.
  • Introduction
  • Epi-paleolithic and Neolithic Rock Shelters
  • Neolithic, Chalcolithic (Early, Middle and Late) sites
  • Iron Age Materials
  • Maps

  • Course Offerings on the Web:

    Lab sections on the Web for AN 210 Introduction to Archaeology

    For Kids and Adults:
    A series of educational Shockwave animations constructed using Director 6 and 7.


    Archaeological Website links relevant to my Research. Middle East, South Asia, Rock Art, Methodology and General Archaeological Indexes.

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