Monday, June 29, 2009

Prehistoric cave art found in Bihar

Patna, June 29: A young explorer says he has discovered prehistoric cave art in Bihar`s Rajgir hills that are known for their Buddhist heritage and has asked the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) to validate his claim.

"We have found cave art of the prehistoric age in the dense forest of Rajgir hills. The discovery is of immense importance," Deepak Anand, an explorer associated with Nav Nalanda Mahavihara, a Nalanda-based deemed university, told IANS on telephone.

"There is no doubt that the art is pre-historic. The location from where the art has been discovered was unexplored till date. The cave, its location, colour, rock structure and pattern clearly show that the art is pre-historic. Also, the art was made by rubbing hematite (iron oxide) on rock by men living in the areas that substantiates it to be prehistoric," said Anand, who is in his late 20s.

"The Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) has been requested to visit the site and ascertain the dating of the art," he added

"Prehistoric cave art has been found at several places across the world but discovery of a pre-historic cave art at Rajgir was different from others. It is an unique one," said Anand, who has an experience of seven years in the exploration field.

Anand found the series of caves on June 19 in the Rajgir hills, about 100 km from state capital Patna, during his exploration of the archaeological site.

"After we found it, now what we want that world`s best archaeologists, who are experts on this Paleolithic art, should visit the site," Anand said.

He said Rajgir hills are waiting for explorers and archaeologists from around the world.

"Possibilities of more discoveries are good in the Rajgir hills. We strongly feel that many more discoveries will be made here which world does not know about," he said.

Anand said there was an urgent need to propagate and promote discovery of prehistoric cave art.

"Unless we propagate it on massive scale it will be unknown to the world. Till five to 10 years ago, people used to fear visiting the Rajgir hills. Nobody used to venture there. No explorer or archaelogist would go there as the hills were considered a Maoist stronghold. But now things have changed," he said.

Anand is currently working in a documentation project titled Mapping of Nalanda.

No comments: