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Indian Rock Art and Its Global Context

Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty (Author) Robert G. Bednarik (Author)
Synopsis This is a unique volume in the history of rock art studies, meant at once for the advanced scholar, serious student and the curious but conscientious layman, co-authored by K.K. Chakravarty and R.G. Bednarik, who co-chaired the rock art session of the World Archaeological Congress 3 at Delhi in 1994. It emerges from the exhibition on rock art in India and the world, organised by them together on this occasion in the National Museum, Delhi, on behalf of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations, Melbourne, Australia, and the Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (National Museum of Man), Bhopal, India. It is a synoptic but comprehensive survey, illustrated by 221 photographs and sketches, including 172 photographs in colour. The two scholars have not only described the latest state of research on rock art, but also transported rock art studies into the realm of interdisciplinary, inter-cultural analysis. Buttressed by an indicative map of the rock art regions, a list of major up to date direct dating results on rock art, a glossary of keywords related to spatial, temporal, technological, managerial categories, and an index, this volume blends precise, dispassionate descriptions with eloquent evocations. It blends conclusions distilled from rigorous, hard headed field research with penetrating criticism and assessment of the evidence. It combines a ruthless brevity and density with extraordinary felicity and clarity of language. Above all, it is an wonderful attempt at dealing with the problems of understanding, which dog human attempts to comprehend the meaning and shape of human creativity.
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About the authors

Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty

Dr. Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty is a renowned art-historian with M.A. in History from Calcutta. University. M.P.A. in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Fine Art from Harvard University, U.S.A. He has lectured extensively in India and abroad. He has many publications to his credit including books on Orccha, Gwalior Fort. Khajuraho, Rock Art in India and the World, Dangwada excavation, the Indian Family. He has launched and edited important issues of the archaeological magazine Puratan. Some of his forthcoming publications are the Early Buddhist Art of Bodhgaya, Art of Daksina Kosala, articles in the Macmillan Dictionary of Art, London, an edited volume on Tribal Identity. He has chaired sessions in national and international seminars including World Archaeology Congress, World Ethnobiology Congress, Indian Science Congress. He is member of many expert committees and learned societies at the State, national and international level. A senior member of the Indian Administrative Service, he has specially concerned himself with development of museums and organization of excavation, conservation and non-invasive recycling of monuments, ecological monitoring of cultural and administrative initiatives throughout his eventful career. At present, he is Director, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (National Museum of Man) at Bhopal, promoting a multidisciplinary museum movement dedicated to the revitalization of dead, languishing, vanishing arts and crafts, ethnic identity, skills and knowledge.

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Robert G. Bednarik

Robert G. Bednarik is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations, the Australian Rock Art Research Association and the Cave Art Research Association and the Cave Art Research Association. He edits three academic journals and two series of monographs, and is also the Permanent Convener of IFRAO. Having produced about one thousand scientific publications, of which almost half have appeared in refereed academic journals, his interests range widely. besides palaeoart, they include the origins of human cognition, early hominin technologies, scientific dating methods and the philosophy of science. To underpin his understanding of the hominin ascent he has conducted extensive replicative experiments. For instance, to determine the minimum Pleistocene seafaring abilities he built many primitive rafts with stone tools and attempted to cross with them sea barriers known to have been breached by Ice Age marines, sometimes at considerable personal risk. His interest in ancient rock art is motivated by his desire to learn how hominins developed the earliest constructs of reality, and how these evolved to become what is now perceived as reality. It was initially prompted by his discovery, between 1967 and 1970, of the largest rock art concentration in the world, at Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, Bednarik has worked extensively in every continent except Antarctica, but he has a special interest in India, where he discovered the currently oldest known rock art in the world, at the Bhimbetka site complex.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Rock Art and Its Global Context
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1997
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8120814649
length xii+228p., Illustrations; Plates; Maps; Glossary; Index; 29cm.