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An Annotated Archaeological Atlas of West Bengal (Volume 1): Prehistory and Protohistory

Gautam Sengupta (Editor) B.D. Chattopadhyaya (Editor) Sambhu Chakrabarty (Editor)
Synopsis An Annotated Archaeological Atlas of West Bengal was envisaged with the objective of making a visual presentation of the cultural profile of West Bengal through different archaeological cultural stages. This Atlas will serve as an instructional aid and also familiarize the public with the different periods through which Bengali culture has evolved. In publishing the Atlas, spatial expressions of the temporal dimensions of archaeological cultures is brought into a sharp relief. The approach is primarily historical where attempt has been made to delineate the cultural trajectories within the confines of the state of West Bengal from the Prehistoric past to AD 1858. In order to cover such a vast time frame the Atlas will be published in four volumes. The first volume highlights the Pre- and Protohistoric culture phases in West Bengal. Each map in this volume has been digitized using sophisticated software so that the archaeological sites can be accurately plotted with respect to their geographical coordinates. The Atlas has been annotated to facilitate understanding of the different cultural periods shown in the maps. For instance, the notes following the maps showing Stone Age sites include comments on type of stone used for making tools. This pattern has been maintained for all the cultural periods. This volume contains fifty digitize maps starting with the physical features, geology and geomorphology of West Bengal followed by general distribution of the Pre- and Protohistoric sites in different zones. The physical maps acquaint the user with the landforms and natural features of West Bengal. These maps are also accompanied by brief explanations and descriptions of the different morphological units. The important clusters of Paleolithic culture of West Bengal have been represented on eight maps showing the river valleys where such sites are located and photographic images of Paleolithic artifacts have been included. An overview of Paleolithic West Bengal and an index of the geographical coordinates of sites discovered so far has been added. The major clusters of sites with Microlithic artifacts and Neolithic cultural affiliations have been similarly shown along with texts and indexes. The Black and Red Ware culture, named so after the 'type pottery' of the Chalcolithic phase in West Bengal, has been dealt with exhaustively I the Atlas by showing the distribution pattern of the excavated and explored sites. Excavations were conducted at Baneswardanga and Pandu Rajar Dhibi, two important Black and Red Ware sites in West Bengal. The findings have been outlined in the Atlas with the help of photographic images, drawings and notes. The important ceramic type from Pandu Rajar Dhibi; the Black and Red Ware and Red Ware, has been shown separately to familiarize the user with the ceramic industries of West Bengal during the Black and Red Ware cultural phase. The distribution of limited number of copper hoards found in West Bengal and types found here and shown in two maps. The Centre for Archaeological Studies & Training, Eastern India, entrusted with the running of the project is planning the next volume of the Atlas which will focus on the early historic period.
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About the authors

Gautam Sengupta

Gautam Sengupta is currently the Director of Archaeology and Museums, Government of West Bengal and the Secretary. Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training, Kolkata. He completed his Phd from the University of Calcutta and taught at Visva Bhaarati, Santiniketan, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong between 1979-90. He was a Charles Wallace Visiting Fellow of the Ancient India and Iran Trust at Cambridge in 1995, a Visiting Scholar, Maisson Science de L’homme Paris, as well as President, Archaeology Section of the Indian History Congress, Calcutta Session (1995). His main area of research relates to historical archaeology and art history of Eastern and North-eastern India.

B.D. Chattopadhyaya

B.D. Chattopadhyaya retired as Professor, centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Sambhu Chakrabarty

Sambhu Chakrabarty is a Senior Geologist in the Geological Survey of India presently posted in Arunachal Pradesh. He specializes in paleontology. He received the National Mineral Award in 1997 for his work on the Talcher coal mines, Orissa.

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Bibliographic information

Title An Annotated Archaeological Atlas of West Bengal (Volume 1): Prehistory and Protohistory
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173045852, 9788173045851
length 120p., Maps; Tables; Figures; Notes; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.