||Ray, Swati & R K Chattopadhyay
||xxxvii+307p, (567) b/w & col pls, bib, ind, 29 cm.
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About the Book:
One of the features of the Post-Gupta development is the proliferation of ritual
centres of various sizes, which are mostly accompanied by sculptural and architectural
remains. These features can be observed in varying degrees all over the subcontinent.
The current level of documentation of all these sites leaves much to be desired.
The book on Itkhori at the north western edge of the Chhotanagpur plateau is
a significant exception in this regard. Itkhori is still a living site. The
authors have studied the site in detail, placing it in the context of a regional
development beginning with the Chalcolithic and later Black-and-Red Ware culture.
The Itkhori mound and the mounds nearby are on a much grander scale, the entire
area being full of sculptural and architectural remains. The strength of the
book is that it has attempted a thorough documentation of what is available
at the site, putting together, among others, a catalogue of about five hundred
sculptures and architectural members with all their iconographic details and
explanations. This catalogue is by itself a formidable academic achievement.
This work is a scholarly effort on this scale has yet been attempted in the
archaeology of eastern India after Debala Mitra’s report on Ratnagiri
excavation. This is a model which should be followed in the case of major and
minor ritual centres all over India.
About the Authors:
Swati Ray is presently teaching in the Department of Ancient Indian
History and Culture, University of Calcutta, and her specialisation is Fine
Arts. She takes a keen interest in the sculptural art of ancient India. Her
first book, Scythian Elements in Early Indian Art was published in 2009. She
has several publications based on extensive field work in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
Rupendra Kumar Chattopadhyay, a former teacher of the Department
of Archaeology, University of Calcutta, is now teaching in the Department of
History, Presidency University. He has done extensive archaeological field work
in different parts of India and has published several field reports. One of
his recent publications is The Archaeology of Coastal Bengal (published by OUP).