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    Proto-Historic Potte...

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Proto-Historic Pottery of Indus Valley Civilisation

Study of Painted Motifs (Illustrated with Photographs, Charts and Drawings) by: Sudha Satyawadi

Dr. Satyawadi’s book is the first-ever study of painted pottery motifs of the Indian subcontinent (earliest times to 1750 BC). It explores the genesis and development of popular forms and classifies art motifs into their different genres.



ISBN: 9788124600306
Year Of Publication: 2016
Edition: 1st revised edition
Pages : 324
Bibliographic Details : Maps; Charts; 652 Line drawings; 138 Colour illustrations; Appendices; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 29 cm.
Weight: 1200


In the 1920s was found one of the world’s oldest, most mysterious civilizations: the Indus Valley. Which, in view of the relatively more recent archaeological evidence, could possibly have evolved from a much older, indigenous culture: of about nine millennia ago — some 6000 years before the growth of Mesopotamian urbanism or about 2000 years before the Egyptian’s. Among a variety of excavated material remains, pottery affords a significant clue that influences archaeologists’ conclusions. Despite many a scholar’s avowed fascination for the pottery of the Indian subcontinent — since John Marshall’s days, Dr. Satyawadi’s book becomes the first-ever, exclusive study of its art motifs: from the earliest times to 1750 bc Marshalling a whole diversity of painted-pottery motifs: from potsherds, from excavatory reports, and from as many as twenty archaeological museums of India, it explores the genesis of popular themes/forms and how they developed from their most primitive character to mature Harappan period — with sharp focus on their creative purpose, stylistic/formal variants and their spatial-temporal parameters. Also surveying extensively the painted pottery of Indus Valley: of both pre- and post-Harappan cultures, the author painstakingly classifies art motifs into their different genres: religious, ritualistic, decorative, superstitious, and personal. And into their different forms too, like geometrical, floral, faunal, other. In her effort to probe the beginnings of pre-Harappan pottery motifs, the artist in Dr. Satyawadi visualizes their continuity not only in mature Harappan cultures, but even in contemporary folk and tribal art of India: almost in their pristine, primitive form — keeping alive, from generation to generation, an insistent, inherently powerful tradition, despite the ravages of time. The author also tries to trace the linkages between the painted motifs (on pottery) of Indus Valley and other old-world cultures, notably, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Afghan, Iranian, and Baluchi. With one hundred thirty six photographic reproductions, this study is supplemented by over 650 line-drawings which, (all beautifully copied by the author herself straight from museum exhibits), try to capture the panorama of protohistoric art motifs in their essential variety and pristine splendour.


List of Colour Illustrations
Map Showing Sites Mentioned in the Text
Map Showing Distribution of Indus Valley Sites
1. Scope, Framework and Methodology
Geographical Regions
Geographical Features
Time Span
Shape of Potteries
Ground Colour
2. History, Purpose and Classification
History of Motifs
Purpose of Motifs
Kinds of Motifs
3. Empirical Investigation and Description
Geometrical Motifs
Faunal Motifs
Other Significant Motifs
4. Conclusion
In-depth Study Of Selected Motifs
Comparison of Motifs on Territorial Basis
Spatial and Temporal Development of Motifs — Charts
Indus Culture — Style Shown in Ancient Scriptures
Appendix I : Sources of Figures
Appendix II : Excavations and Researches
Appendix III : Excavated Sites (Period Sites)
Appendix IV : Introduction to Sites
Appendix V : Radio-Carbon Dating
Colour Plates

Meet the Author
Dr Sudha Satyawadi is an artist, a researcher, an author. Tribal, rural and folk arts are her interests and she has spent over fifty years on these. Exhibitions of her paintings on rural and folk art have been held in New Delhi, Melbourne, Gaborone, Universities of Stanford, Berkeley, Louisiana, Buffalo and Pittsburgh in the last ten years or so. She heads an NGO called Udayan created for encouraging the rural artists who work deep inside a village. She spends much time with them and is working for them. With her background she is trying to preserve this dying art and encourage artists by giving them exposure in the global world. She has authored two books.
Books of Sudha Satyawadi