The recognition of Indian rock art as an archaeo-historical source dates back to 1868, but it was only with the discovery of Bhimbetka, the spectacularly rich rock art site in Madhya Pradesh, in 1958 that it started generating wide interest. In this book, Erwin Neumayer presents for the first time a well-rounded overview of rock art in India: visual survivals from the many layered Indian history, including the late Stone Age and later Chalcolithic periods. The book covers a vast terrain-from Ladakh and other Himalayan locations, to central India including the Vindhyas, the Satpuras, and the Chhota Nagpur Plateau, to southern Deccan and Sri Lanka-regions where the author has worked extensively. Not only the late Stone Age hunting and foraging cultures, the book also highlights the rock art of the early agricultural and pastoral people. Neumayer documents narrative picture sequences in line-drawings, while at the same time including close-up photos of well presented details. This helps to provide a fairly accurate idea of crucial figures, details of implements, among others.
For the picture panels on rocks, line drawings-prepared at the spot-and octal photographs have been chosen to clarify their interpretations. Further, pictures of well-preserved paintings have been reproduced in full. Equipped with a companion CD containing the author's drawings from all major rock art sites across the country, this volume will appeal to rock art scholars, students of art and archeology, as well as general readers.
Erwin Neumayer is an archaeologist and ethnologist. He has authored (along with Christine Schelberger) Popular Indian Art: Raja Ravi Varma and the Printed Gods of India (OUP 2003); Raja Raja Varma, Potrait of an Artist: The Diary of C. Raja Raja Varma (OUP 2005); and Bharat Mata: India's Freedom Movement in Popular Art (OUP 2007)