Art of the Lower Ganges Valley: A pictorial Monograph
|Author:||Prasant Kumar Mandal|
|Publisher:||AGAM KALA PRAKASHAN, DELHI|
|Pages:||152 (Throughout Color Illustrations)|
|Other Details||10.00x6.00 inch|
Works of art in bone and antler are conspicuous by their absence in Indian Archaeology. In alien countries- especially in Europe they are abundant in home sites of Upper Palaeolithic times. The present monograph deals with varied works of art in bone and antler that hail from Natshal existing in the vicinity of Deulpota near Diamond Harbour in 24 Parganas district, where Upper Palaeolithic stone tools and stone tools of Middle Stone Age have been found. Excellent works of art in the said mediums betraying engraving, carving, painting and clay modeling nicely dealt with in the volume claim to date from the prehistoric times and seem to represent the earliest examples of Indian art traditions.
Born in 1948, the author did his M.A. in Ancient Indian History and Culture in 1973 from the University of Calcutta. For the last 35 years or so he has been exploring the eastern part of Medinipore (East and West) District, West Bengal and has been successful in discovering several important historic and prehistoric sites. He had been the Hony. Curator of Tamralipta Museum and Research Centre, Tamluk, Purba Medinipore (East) till the day it was handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India in 2001. His previous works- Interpretation of Terracottas from Tamralipta (1987) and Art and Artifacts of Bone and Antler in the Lower Ganges Valley (1993) are well accepted by scholars.
After the publication of my previous monograph, titled, 'Art and Artifacts of Bone and Antler in the Lower Ganges Valley', in the year 1993, I thought it necessary to bring out a volume on the art in bone and antler, in order to highlight different aspects of this prehistoric plastic art. I have tried to deal with the forms, styles and social significance of the objects concerned as far as practicable with available resources. A considerable number of photographs have been included in the present monograph for an understanding and appreciation of our readers.
I am aware of the fact that, really it is hard to do justice to our materials which are so new, unique and ancient - especially when no other site in the sub-continent has yielded so far such kind of objects either through excavation or surface collection. In spite of that, I think, the importance of these things cannot be denied and so I have ventured to bring out the presentation in an anticipation of future discovery in the country and the proper evaluation of such kind of art in the socio-cultural matrix of Indian prehistory, as a whole.
In this connection I would take the opportunity to express my gratitude to my 'guru, the late Dr. Tarasish Mukhopadhyay, an anthropologist. I am grateful to my friends, Dr. Kamal Kumar Kundu and Mr.Tapas Kumar Maiti for their suggestions and help all along for its total improvement. Really it is difficult to convince anyone about prehistoric art by the descriptions only - especially when its forms, styles and contents etc., are quite new and unfamiliar. Photographs of the examples of art are essential in this regard. I was quite helpless. At this juncture, Mr.Tapas Kumar Maiti realized my situation and took upon himself the difficult task of taking photographs. He photographed all specimens and did everything from start to finish with utmost care and interest. He personally incurred much expenditure for this purpose even. Half the credit of this monograph is his. I salute him. I am also grateful to the members of his family who helped a lot during whole period. I am indebted to Mr. Sajal Kumar Gantait and Mrs. Pratima Gantait who nursed me when I was confined to bed after a serious bus accident for long 3 months during which period the manuscript of this monograph was written. In fine, I like to express my indebtedness to my wife Smt. Chhanda Mandal, son Dr. Koushik Mandal and daughter Joyita Mandal who have always stood by me and inspired me for the publication of the present monograph.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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