DURING CASPERS, Elisabeth (Inez) C. L.

DURING CASPERS, Elisabeth (Inez) Christina Louisa. Amsterdam 1.9.1934 — Leiden 31.1.1996. Dutch Archaeologist of South Asia, Mesopotamia and Harappa Culture. Daughter of Engelbert Pieter D.C. and Elisabeth Christina Louisa Putnam. Studied Mesopotamian archaeology, then South Asian archaeology at Amsterdam. B.A., M.A. (both in Sumerian and in prehistoric archaeology) 1962 Amsterdam. From 1964 further studies of archaeology in London. Ph.D. 1969 London (under Seton Lloyd). After a while at Amsterdam Univer­sity, from 1973 Lecturer at Kern Institute of Indology, Leiden University, until 1986. From 1986 Senior Lecturer in Archaeology of South and Southwest Asia at Department of Archaeology, retired 1995. Died after short illness.

During Caspers was specially interested in Indus civilization and in its relations to the West (Mesopotamia and the Gulf region) and worked more in interpretation of evidence than active field archaeology, but also participated in excavations in Iran, Pakistan and Bahrain. She often proposed bold hypotheses, but well founded on evidence and fruitful for further research. She published her work in numerous articles, of which the list given below is only a sample.

Publications: “A male head found at Dabar Kot”, Antiquity 37, 1963, 294 & pl. 40; “Further Evidence for Cultural Relations between India, Baluchistan and Iran and Mesopotamia in Early Dynastic Times”, JNES 14, 1965, 53-56, pl. 20f.

Diss. Archaeological Evidence for Maritime Trade in the Persian Gulf in the Third Millennium BC. MS. 1-3. L. 1969.

– “Trucial Oman in the Third Millennium BC”, Origini 4, 1970, 205-276.

– “Some motifs as evidence for maritime contact between Sumer and the Indus Valley”, Persica 5, 1970-71, 107-118; “New Archaeological evidence for Maritime Trade in the Persian Gulf during the late Protoliterate Period”, E&W 21, 1971, 9-20; “Harappan trade in the Arabian Gulf in the third millennium B.C.”, Mesopotamia 7, 1972, 167-191; “The Gate-post in Mesopotamian Art. A short outline of its origin and development”, Ex Or. Lux 22, 1971-72, 211-227; “A short survey of a still topical problem: The third millennium Arabian Trade Mechanism seen in the light of the recent discoveries in southern Iran”, Acta praehistorica et archaeologica 3, 1972, 35-42.

With A. Govindankutty: “R. Thapar’s Dravidian hypothesis for the location of Meluḫḫa, Dilmun and Makan”, JESHO 21, 1978, 113-145.

– “Sumer, Coastal Arabia and the Indus Valley in protoliterate and early dynastic eras”, JESHO 22, 1979, 121–135; “Westward contacts with historical India”, Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 11, 1979, 10-30.

– “The Indian Ivory Figurine from Pompeii: A Reconsideration of Its Functional Use”, H. Härtel (ed.), SAA 1979. B. 1981, 341-353.

– “Sumerian Traders and Businessmen residing in the Indus valley cities”, AION 42, 1982, 337-379; “Triangular Stamp Seals from the Arabian Gulf and their Indus Valley Connection”, AION 43, 1983, 661-670; “Sumerian trading communities residing in Harappan society”, B. B. Lal & S. P. Gupta (edd.), Frontiers of the Indus Civilization. Sir Mortimer Wheeler Comm. Vol. N.D. 1984, 363-370; “Dilmun: International Burial Ground”, JESHO 27, 1984, 1-32.

– “A Possible Harappan Contact with the Aegean World”, J. Schotsmans & M. Taddei (eds.), SAA 1983. Naples 1985, 435-452.

– “More on the stone sculpture from Moenjo-daro”, AION 45, 1985, 409-426; “Magic hunting practices in Harappan timer”, K. Frifelt & P. Sørensen (edd.), SAA 1985. L. 1989, 227-236; “Harappan temples – Fact or fallacy?”, M. Taddei (ed.), SAA 1987. S.O.R. 66:1. R. 1990, 245-261; “The Indus Valley ‘unicorn’. A Near Eastern connection?”, JESHO 34, 1991, 312-350; “Rituals and belief systems in the Indus Valley Civilization”, A. W. van den Hoek, D. H. A. Kolff & M. S. Oort (edd.), Ritual, State and History in South Asia. Essays in honour of J. C. Heesterman. Leiden 1992, 102-127; “Another face of the Indus Valley magico-religious system”, A. J. Gail & G. J. R. Mevissen (edd.), SAA 1991. St. 1993, 65-86; “Vanity portrayed in clay: the female terracotta figurines from Harappa”, A. Parpola & P. Koskikallio (edd.), SAA 1993. Helsinki 1994, 183-191.

Sources: Personal knowledge 1986/95; brief obituary by K. van Kooij in SAA 1995 with photo; *Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 26, 1996, viii-ix; *E. Olijdam in Olijdam & Spoor (ed.), Intercultural relations between South and Southwest Asia: studies in commemoration of E.C.L. D.-C. (1934-1996). BAR International Series 1826; Society for Arabian Studies monographs 7. Oxford 2008, 1-4 and bibliography, 8-11; Dutch Indology homepage with photo; www.brown.edu/Research/Breaking_Ground/results.php?d=1&first=Elisabeth%20E.C.L.&last=During%20Caspers with photo; Wikipedia with photo.

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