Abstract

Archaeologists have long considered the Gandharan Grave Culture to be an intrusive technocultural complex in northwestern South Asia and have often equated its presence at the nexus between Central, South, and West Asia with the arrival of Indo-Aryan populations south of the Hindu Kush. Such assertions are largely based upon material cultural parallels with assemblages recovered from sites located in northwestern Iran (i.e, Tepe Hissar) or southern Central Asia (i.e., Bactria-Margianan Archaeological Complex). Recent discoveries of Gandharan Grave Culture sites in Chitral District attest that this archaeological culture encompassed a larger geographic region than previously understood. The current study provides foundational skeletal descriptions for 18 individuals recovered from Gandharan Grave Culture funerary features at the site of Shah Mirandeh, located near Chitral town, Chitral District. These individuals were recovered from an array of burial contexts ranging from intact primary inhumations to highly disturbed secondary inhumations of the commingled remains of multiple individuals. The 18 individuals include five males, three females and 10 individuals of unknown sex. Ages at death range from infancy to mature adults. Pathological conditions were generally rare and most often affected then dentition, being manifested as caries and linear enamel hypoplasia.