The medieval world was one of high movement, with a large amount of goods and people in transit across the Indian subcontinent. To support the flow of people and goods an elaborate trade network developed, anchored by the transit infrastructure available along roadways. In this talk I present a review of my summer 2015 architectural survey of the medieval caravanserai (protected stopping points along caravan routes) located on the trunk road between Amritsar and Agra, India. The research presented involves the detailed documentation (using photography and laser measurement devices) of surviving serai architecture and addresses several questions. First, what are the typological forms and functions of Mughal caravanserais found in northwestern India (specifically on the route between Amritsar and Agra)? Second, why were some of these structures reused through time and how do continuing uses relate to the memories, identities, and life histories associated with these places? Third, how can we use expedient survey techniques to record detailed information from sites, and how can three-dimensional virtual models aid in our interpretation of historic structures?
Date: November 24, 2015