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Raymond and Bridget Allchin are legendary figures in the field of South Asian archaeology. They led - as Nicholas Barrington says in his Introduction - 'busy lives', in the UK and made frequent archaeological trips to South Asia, weaving a partnership of overlapping areas of knowledge and skills. The story they tell here is first of their early years and influences, their very different experiences of World War II and the changes it brought, and of how they met, in London, in 1950. Within a year, they are married and setting out together on their first joint visit to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is the narrative of this exciting and at times demanding journey that fills the rest of the book. History,anthropology, religion, politics, and a detailed account of how the Allchins made a pioneering archaeological excavation of the prehistoric Piklihal site in southern India, spills off the page amid the practicalities of travel and daily life. There is variety of detail everywhere about bazaars, clothes, food and family homes and about cities and remote settlements.The book is a record of the scholars with whom they came into contact and of the friendship and hospitality they found everywhere in the subcontinent.
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'...this delightfully written memoir is a beginning and a background, rather than an account of a lifetime's work [...]. It is these lesser-known background anecdotes that make it all the more interesting for the large number of people who came within the Allchins' generous orbit. There is much else of interest to the specialists of South Asian archaeology (including a complete bibliography of all their published works and reports). I recommend it.' Warwick Ball, Asian Affairs, July 2015.

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