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H 290 x W 205 mm

182 pages

227 figures, 8 maps, 7 tables (colour throughout)

Published Jun 2024

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803277028

Digital: 9781803277035

DOI 10.32028/9781803277028

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India; Northern Vindhyas; Ganges Valley; Rock art; Indian archaeology; Pictograms; Signs; Symbols; Upland Archaeology; Cognitive History; Gender; Pastoralism; Ecological History; Human Evolution

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Ideas and Images: A Historical Interpretation of Eastern Vindhyan Rock Art, India

By Ajay Pratap

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This book argues that the development of symbols and signs informing scripts, mainly the idea of coding thoughts through symbols and images, has always been uniquely ‘historical.’ Rock art abuts and occupies long periods of time in which the translation of indigenous thoughts was perfected through numerous mnemonic practices.



Chapter 1: Rethinking Rock Art

Chapter 2: The Eastern Vindhyan Field Area

Chapter 3: The Archaeological Context

Chapter 4: Symbols in East Vindhyan Rock Art

Chapter 5: Skills and Techniques

Chapter 6: Cognitive Elements in Vindhyan Rock Art

Chapter 7: Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives

Chapter 8: Rock Art and Classical Culture

Chapter 9: Towards a Vindhyan History

Chapter 10: Conclusion



About the Author

Ajay Pratap is a Professor of Ancient Indian History and a long-serving member of the Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University. He took an undergraduate degree in History from the prestigious St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, before attending the Deccan College, Pune University, for an M.A. in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. He was then an Inlaks Scholar to the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, for an M.Phil and a PhD in Archaeology. Besides two research projects involving rock art, he has taught various courses in Ancient Indian History, Tribal History, History of Ancient Science, Medicine and Technology and Research Methodology. His publications consist of four books and numerous research articles, chapters in edited volumes and book reviews covering ancient India, Indian archaeology, shifting cultivation, gender prehistory, the Harappan script, ancient astronomy and rock art. Most of his field research from the 1980s has been on indigenous communities and their subsistence systems, history and archaeology, focussing on the mountainous and hilly hinterlands of the Ganges Valley, like the Rajmahal Hills and the North Vindhyan ranges.