The School of Social Sciences at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a Distinguished Lecture titled “Science versus Social Science: Did Rains Do The Harappans In?”  by Prof Shereen Ratnagar, UoH Chair Professor on 5th September 2013 at the Sir C V Raman Auditorium. Prof. Shereen F Ratnagar is the first occupant of University Chair Professorship in the School of Social Sciences for a semester.


Prof. Shereen while delivering the lecture said that her talk is basically a reaction to the widely publicized scientific theory that declined monsoon rainfall caused some rivers flowing from Haryana to Pakistan to dry up. Prof. Shereen said that these rivers are important because the largest number of Harappan sites is located on the Hakra River in Pakistan. She mentioned to the audience that this river has dried today, but formally it was flowing until the monsoon decreased. Here Prof. Shereen disagrees with this theory because it does not take into account the enormous quantity of water lying below the ground, and the importance of well-irrigation in the past.

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Prof. Aloka Parasher-Sen, Dean, School of Social Sciences welcomed the gathering and introduced the speaker while Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor, UoH presided over the lecture.


Prof. Shereen Ratnagar was a Professor of archaeology and ancient history at the Centre for Historical Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and is currently an independent researcher. She gave up her Professorship in Archaeology at the JNU when it ceased to be fun and has since been researching and teaching in various places. Her interests include the bronze age, trade, urbanism, pastoralism, and, recently, the social dimensions of early technology. She writes extensively and authoritatively on archaeological matters.

She is noted for work on investigating the factors contributing to the end of the Indus Valley Civilization. Prof. Shereen was educated at Deccan College in Pune, University of Pune. She studied Mesopotamian archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.