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Archaeology History and Culture of Orissa

Archaeology History and Culture of Orissa
$68.00$85.00  [ 20% off ]
Item Code: NAY707
Author: R.N. Dash
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788177021745
Pages: 316 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Other Details: 11.00 X 9.00 inch
weight of the book: 1.24 kg
About the Book
The present volume contains 24 papers written by Dr. R.N. Dash on different aspects of archaeology, history and culture of Orissa. Based on his field work as well as comments on the excavated remains, the section on 'Archaeology' has ten papers covering pre-history, proto-history ceramics as well as the excavated remains of Langudi hills and survey work of Ratnachira valley.

The section on 'History' has seven papers. Heavily dependent on inscriptions, Dash has tries to shed new light on the origin of Bhaumakara Dynasty, the development of Purushottama Jagannatha, the question of martial traditions as well as reference to Dharmasastras. The accounts on Vaishnavism during the Late Eastern Gangas and Gajapatis constitute an important aspect of religious history of Orissa.

With seven papers in the section on 'Culture', Dash has depicted the Madhava worship as well as depiction of Orissan society and culture in the text Gitagovindam. Besides, discussion has been made with regard to Saiva culture, tribal art, fair and festivals and rhythm from the hills.

In short, this book is the work of a versatile scholar nourished under local traditions of Orissa.

About the Author
Dr. Rabi Narayan Dash {b. 1935) is a versatile scholar who has contributed significantly to Orissan archaeology, anthropology, history, philosophy and Oriya literature. An M.A. in Anthropology from Utkal University, he worked in Orissa State Museum in various capacities retiring in 1994 as its Superintendent. His research on Neolithic cultures of Orissa earned him Ph.D. from Utkal University. Recipient of Sanskrit Samman from the Institute of Orissan Culture and Sarasvata Samman from the Dwarakanath Das Smriti Pratisthan, Dr. Dash has been felicitated also by Kedarnath Gavesana Kendra, Bhubaneswar and Konark Museum. He is a Life Member of Utkal Sammilani, an adviser of The Tribal Tribune', General Secretary, Pandit Nilakantha Smriti Samiti, and the Founder Secretary, Centre for Heritage Studies, Bhubaneswar, He has published both in English and Oriya.

Since the publication of A. Stirling's account in 1825, researches on Orissan studies have grown manifold with the commendable work of scholars from different institutions- such as universities, museums, cultural organizations as well as work by foreign scholars.

The present volume is a point in that continuum being a compilation of selected articles by Dr. Rabi Narayan Dash- a former Superintendent of Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar. In recent times foreign scholars like Prof. Hermann Kulke and Art historian Prof. Donaldson have contributed immensely to Orissan history and culture, which are well known to the scholarly world. Grown up under the shadow of the J agannatha cult, Dr. Dash represents a solid local intellectual tradition which is deeply roo.ted in the soil of Orissa. Hence his perceptions and ideas, which are sometime different from those of foreign scholars, should also be placed before the scholarly world alongside the rich contribution of foreign scholars, for a critical and comprehensive understanding of the complex layers and multi-dimensions of Orissan history and culture. An erudite scholar, Dr. Dash has been publishing his research findings on Orissa for the last four decades.

The present volume is a compilation of papers published in various journals and edited volumes ranging from prehistory and protohistory, to historical archaeology, art history, iconography and epigraphy, critical comments using literary sources and ethno archaeology. His paper on pre-and-proto-history is based primarily on field work, in some cases comments on excavated remains and include various sub-regions. His comprehensive work on Neolithic Culture of Orissa is predominantly on a typo technological basis. He argued Sankerjang to be a Chalcolithic site, but differed from some German archaeologists' view that the bracelets were musical instruments. His paper on Buddhist art and architecture of Langudi hills showing its importance in the Buddhist art traditions of India, his survey of Ratnachira valley in terms of archaeological, epigraphic and historical aspects, his study on the iconographic aspects of Purshottam Jagannatha on the basis of epigraphic source and the meanings as well as use of the Dharmashastras from the inscriptions of Orissa and reconstruction of Orissan martial tradition from epigraphic evidence, are other important papers relating to archaeology and epigraphy in this volume. In terms of religious history he has emphasized the growth of Vaisnavism and Saivism as well as Madhav worship and the latter's relation to the Gita Govinda. His account of fairs and festivals as well as tribal art, emphasized various aspects of the intangible cultural heritage of Orissa. Moreover, he has thrown new light on the Bhaumakara dynasty on the views of its origin. Besides, he has also discussed the treatment of Visnusarma, the author of Pandiatantra; with regard to contemporary social scene in Orissa. His paper relating to plant domestication and shifting cultivation has bearing on ethno-archaeology of Orissa.

In short, this volume will hopefully show the versatility of Dr. Dash as a scholar covering a wide range. It is also hoped that this volume would remain a good example of a solid contribution by a scholar nourished under local conditions.

The present book is a compilation of twenty five articles written and presented in different seminars of the national level sponsored by different Organizations, both Government and Private, Research Institutes and were published in Journals, felicitation and commemoration volumes brought out in honor of eminent erudite persons. In selecting the articles for this book attention was given to the chronological presentation since the stone ages to 1533 A.D. through the early medieval historic times when Orissa lost her independence.

The paper 'Pre and proto-history of South Orissa' was published in "Studies in History and Culture". Vol. II, No.1, March 1994, by the Berhampur University, P.G. Department of History. The article deals with the pre and proto-history of the undivided Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput and Phulbani districts of Orissa in the recent past. It is a maiden attempt on the subject and intends to promote further discussion and initiate further research, although piecemeal studies on some areas were taken by Siva Charan Nanda, Simadri Bihari Ota and others.

'Pre and Proto-history' of Khurda was published in the book 'The Cultural heritage of Khurda' in 2003. But in that book the title was 'Pre and Proto-history' only. A rapid survey of the Stone Age, chalco lithic, copper, bronze and early Iron Age cultures have been made in this article with the brief reassessment of the cultures and date of Sisupalgarh in the light of subsequent references. The important part of the article is that it has incorporated a discussion on the chalco lithic phase of Sisupalgarh, which was made earlier in the article' Ancient Potteries of Orissa'. After the archaeological find from Golabai was unearthed in an excavation by B.K.sinha of the A.S.I., the results bridged the gap from stone ages to the early metal age and subsequently with the early historical phase of Orissan history.

In a small article on the 'Pre and protohistory of Kalahandi' a brief survey of the Stone Age and protohistoric culture is dealt with basing on the available data. It was published on the occasion of the annual Kalahandi festival of the district in 1997 by the district administration.

The 'Neolithic cultures of Orissa - A typo-technological Analysis' deals with the genesis and evolution of Neolithic culture in Orissa. An attempt is made to study and present a standard typo-technological analysis for the artifacts, which could well be applied world over with nomenclatures and characteristics applying mathematical criteria. Pottery, rock- paintings, tool-types and their functional applications are analyzed in this essay. The dating of the Neolithic culture was also attempted keeping in view to the replacement of this stage of culture. This article was published in 'Archaeology of Orissa' in 2000, (ed.) by K.K.Basa and P .Mohanty.

The article 'Chalcolithic and Copper-bronze age culture in Orissa' was published in the proceedings of the Orissa History Congress, XV - Annual session, held at Rajdhani College, Bhubaneswar in the year 1989. In brief the article has thrown some light on the evolution and culmination of chalcolithic, copper and copper-bronze culture in Orissa on the basis of available data.

In 1971 for the first time the remains of a chalco lithic culture came to light at Sankerjang. In this article 'Sankerjang - A chalcolithic site in Orissa', an elaborate discussion has been made on the recovered objects. An assessment on their identification, technology, and probable date, the nature of the associated copper, bone and beads was taken up and analyzed in the OHRJ, Vol. XXX II, Nos.l & 2, Orissa State Museum, and Bhubaneswar in 1986 for the first time.

The article 'Unique stone objects from Sankerjang expresses a different view to that of the German archaeologists who tried to prove the Sankerjang Neolithic objects as musical instruments of the earliest period in India. The assessment of the present author differs from them in the light of discussion made in the previous article 'Sankerjang - A chalcolithic site in Orissa' and the survival of ethnological agricultural metal objects recovered from the tribals. This has found publication in the 'Krishna Pratibha' the commemoration volumes brought out in honor of Prof. K.C. Panigrahi, the eminent historian of the State, in 1994.

The next article "The Iron and other objects from Gudavella and Kharligarh" is an assessment of the historical as well as comparative archaeological approach to iron artifacts recovered from Gudavella and Kharligarh. The objects are mainly compared with the similar finds from Sisupalgarh, Kharligarh and a few other centres yielding such objects.

The finds also associated with ceramic and terracotta objects and a maiden attempt was made to trace the history of the time, which bears on the date of the finds. It was published in the Journal of the Orissa Research Society, Vol. I, No.2, April, 1982, Bhubaneswar.

'Ancient Potteries of Orissa - A study' is a survey of the available ceramic reference on chronological basis as well as a reassessment of the reports on Sisupalgarh andjaugarh finds following excavation by B.B.Lal and D.Mitra of the A.S.l. Attempt was made to bring out a comparative study of the finds with other recovered objects having similitude in Chalco lithic finds in India and to some extent in Pakistan irrespective of their time frame.

It was published in the OHRJ, Vol. XXXI, No.2, 3 and 4, Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar.

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