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Minerals and Metals in Pre-modern India

 
Arun Kumar Biswas (Author)
Synopsis A Sequel to his widely acclaimed Minerals and Metals in Ancient India, in two volumes, (1996), Professor Biswas here continues with the fascinating story of indigenous gems, non-gem minerals, metals and metallic art : from 1200 AD onwards to almost the threshold of modern times Beginning with a view of medieval India's enchanting gems, its highly dexterous diamond mining, and an array of non-gem minerals including, among others, metallic ores of copper, lead, zinc, ferrocobaltite, aluminium, and even building stones, the book offers a focused study of iron and steel, brass and zinc in pre-modern India -- with coherent descriptions of the diversities of ores processed, smelting techniques, wootzmaking and other products in different parts of the subcontinent. A painstakingly researched work based on foreigners' travelogues and many other sources, the book re-explores the achievements of indigenous industries of the day, highlighting how, for about two millennia since the Lothal and Atranjikhera eras, India commanded primacy in zinc and brass; how its zinc smelting and distillation technology were transferred to the West, like the Chinese technologies of paper and gunpowder; and how its artisans could work marvels in metal. The author examines, in retrospect, Indian traditions of metallic works, which are vividly exemplified in its arts of enamelling, encrustation, jewel-setting, brass and high zinc Bidriware, and much else.
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About the author

Arun Kumar Biswas

Arun Kumar Biswas (b. 1934) educated at the Calcutta University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, has been Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (1963-1995) and, since 1995 at the Asiatic Society, Calcutta. An authority on applied chemistry, surface chemistry, mineral engineering, archaeo-metallurgy, history of science, and the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature, Professor Biswas continues to nurture concepts of archaeo-material science, futuristic emphasis on the history of civilization, and lastly syncretism of science, spirituality and the Vedantic concept of socialism (samya). His published work comprises about a hundred articles and over a dozen books that not only reflect the versatility of his academic / research concerns, but have also brought him international recognition.

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Bibliographic information

Title Minerals and Metals in Pre-modern India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124601836
length xi+228p., Figures; 22 Col. & 7 B/w Plates; Bibliography; Index, 29cm.