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Rich culture heritage of portable art lies under debries in Ghmariwin Museum in HP

May 13, 2018 09:37 AM

Punjab News Express/Y.S.Rana
BILASPUR (HP): Portable prehistoric art is rarely reported in rock art literature of India which focuses on graphic art of the caves or rock-shelters. It is not an art movement but a period of human’s artistic development and always of interest to anthropologists. But the founds which were buried under the debris of time are displayed in Palaeo Museum at Ghumariwin  set up by Dr Anek R Sankhyan pointed to how dis prehistoric man manage to leave behind such a rich culture heritage of portable art wherever he resided.

Very recently and for the first time, he discovered two rare portable archaeological art objects--a 'painted chopper' and an 'embryo shaped pendant' from the Sir Khad terrace at Ghumarwin which would have important consequences in the history and evolution of prehistoric art in India. .

Dr Sankhyan has been on the since his retirement toiling hard to locate footprints of unknown Pleistocene portable art in the area.  He found five rare portable Pleistocene art objects that can make a significant contribution to understand of palaeoari origins and evolution over 50, 000 years ago and may expose the potential of the area.

His founds include two bird sculptures, two pendants and a rarest painted Palaeolithic chopper. Of these, he discovered from Ghumarwin Sir Khad region of the district and other three from the Central Narmada valley.

While talking to Dr Sankhyan, he said that discovery of basalt stone peacock was a fantastic rare pre-historic portable art piece which was not reported from anywhere in the world. The art work is done on a tiny thin grey-brown basaltic crust 7 mm thick, weighing just 4 grams. “Such a thin and tiny art work could not be preserved and was not found in a buried context and that is too 40, 000 old strata of the Baneta Formation, ” says he.

Another rare piece of art work he found is painted pebble chopper, a fist-size chocolate coloured cobble chopper weighing 505 grams from the terrace of Sir Khad along with Acheulian cleavers, handaxes, scrapers etc. Its convex smooth cortical surface is painted and the other surface is trimmed to give a chopping edge.

Another found is a typical Palaeolithic peacock-shaped Chert triangular scraper made on a blackish grey, shining chert flake, detached from a from a large mother core. It weighs only 10 grams and indicates the artistic potential of the middle Palaeolithic man about 70, 000 years ago.

Besides these his collections include bone pendulum which can be used comfortably as pendant date back of 74, 000 year BP. Dr Sankhyan reveals that still contemporary tribes bear bone and dental pendants and necklaces across the world as a mystic magical power in curing certain ailments or guarding from the malevolent spirits. He also discovered embryo-shaped stone pendant along with late Acheulian tools from the Sir Khad terrace which is dated back over 40, 000 years.

Dr Sankhyan says that in global synthesis of art origins, graphic art on rock walls of caves and in rock shelters, portable art has a much longer history. While India has rick potential of graphic paintings and 3-D figurative portable art potential is almost unexplored. So far only a few portable ‘engravings’ on soft chalcedony, bone and ostrich egg-shells of upper-Palaeolithic and Mesolithic time are known.

He is of the opinion that the state government should step in to dig out more foot prints of pre-historic time in the area and a museum be set up where such rarest discoveries of the area could be preserved and displayed for the surprise of the visitors. The place can be developed as a tourist spot which in turn would be revenue booster dose for the government.

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