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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Amazing Rock Arts In MP

Dr. Jean Clottes created a small web exhibit of rock art from, mostly, Madhya Pradesh - around Bhopal and northwest of the state - after visiting International Rock Art Congress in Agra in 2004.

Bhimbetka - White elephant and human

V. Wakankar started in 1957 the latest study of these rock arts with newer scientific methodology.

Dr. Clottes writes:

The first discovery of rock art we know of was done in 1867 by Archibald Carlleyle, then First Assistant of the Archaeological Survey of India, in the sandstone hills of the Vindhyas Mirzapur District (what is now Uttar Pradesh). This was twelve years before the discovery of Altamira. His discoveries were not published at the time, but long after, in 1906. On the other hand, in 1870, H. Rivett-Carnac, a Colonel of the colonial British administration, found and reported cupules near Nagpur, then in the state of Maharashtra. Then he found some more in Kumaon (Himalaya). In 1883, John Cockburn reported the painting of a rhinoceros hunting scene in the Mizrapur District and shrewdly attributed it to prehistoric times and made ethnological comparisons, so that “Cockburn’s views and concept on the rock art of India (are) still valid for further ethno-archaeological investigations” (Chakarverty 2003: 9).

Bhimbetka - Dual of red warriors with swords, shields and daggers

And he continues:

Yashodar Mathpal sees three broad periods in the history of rock art research in India. The first one, from 1867 to 1931, would be that of enthusiasts and explorers. During the second one, from 1952 to 1972, “more attention was paid to faithful recording” while “during the third period which still prevails, the study of rock art has become a science and a subject of research” (Mathpal 1992: 213-14).

Bhimbetka - White warring scene with elephants and horses

He has art from Bhimbetka, Karabad, Shamla Hill, Magazine Shelter, and Chaturbhujnath Nala all from Madhya Pradesh. There are more scenes of fights, wildlife, ordinary life of man, women, and domesticated animals here.