Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 91 items for :

  • Archaeology x
  • Status (Books): Published x

Early Buddhist Architecture in Context

The Great Stūpa at Amarāvatī (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE)

Series:

Akira Shimada

Since the dramatic discovery and tragic destruction of the monument in the 19th century, the Amarāvatī stūpa in the south-east Deccan has attracted many scholars but has also left many unanswered questions. Akira Shimada's Early Buddhist Architecture in Context provides an updated and comprehensive chronology of the stūpa and its architectural development based on the latest sculptural, epigraphic and numismatic evidence combined with the survey of the early excavation records. It also examines the wider social milieu of the south-east Deccan by exploring archaeological, epigraphic and related textual evidence. These analyses reveal that the flowering of the stūpa was not a simple accomplishment of the powerful Sātavāhana dynasty, but was the result of the long-term development of urbanization of this region between ca. 200 BCE-250 CE.

Series:

Adam T. Kessler

Western scholars of ancient Chinese ceramics have long thought blue and white porcelain manufactured before the Ming (1368-1644 A.D.), dates to the Yuan (1279-1368 A.D.). Even in China today these porcelains are still termed “ Yuan Blue and White.” Based upon first-hand surveys of sites in Inner Mongolia, Adam T. Kessler’s Song Blue and White Porcelain on the Silk Road demonstrates that blue and white was made during the Song (960-1279 A.D.) ended up in the hands of the Xi Xia (1038-1226 A.D.) and the Jin (1115-1234 A.D.). Blue and white found today in hoards was buried prior to Mongol invasions of China in the 1200s. Sites from the Philippines to Egypt have yielded Song blue and white. Also reviewed is the cobalt-bearing ore used by Song China to create blue and white.

Series:

Xinjiang Rong

In Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang, Rong Xinjiang provides an accessible overview of Dunhuang studies, an academic field that emerged following the discovery of a medieval monastic library at the Mogao caves near Dunhuang. The manuscripts were hidden in a cave at the beginning of the 11th century and remained unnoticed until 1900, when a Daoist monk accidentally found them and subsequently sold most of them to foreign explorers and scholars. The availability of this unprecedented amount of first-hand material from China’s middle period provided a stimulus for a number of scholarly fields both in China and the West. Rong Xinjiang’s book provides, for the first time in English, a convenient summary of the history of Dunhuang studies and its contribution to scholarship.

Series:

John Siudmak

The Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Ancient Kashmir and Its Influences is primarily based on the study of the largely unpublished corpus of sculpture, mostly of stone, in the Sri Pratap Singh Museum in Srinagar, and of other examples in situ elsewhere in the valley. The disparate nature and fragmentary condition of these sculptures as well as their artistic and iconographical influences have for long defied accurate analysis. The method used in the classification of these sculptures is based on close analysis of their style concentrating on recurring features such as facial and physical typology, modelling, dress and ornamentation. Comparisons are made with other examples of Kashmir bronze, ivory and stone sculpture in private and public collections both within India and abroad.

Series:

Walter Spink

Volume 6, in Walter Spink's detailed analysis of the creation and development of the Ajanta caves, during the reign of the emperor Harisena (c.460-c.477) has had a profound and often upsetting impact on the understanding of Indian history in the so-called Golden Age. The author contends that through the discipline of Art History one can in fact change the established view of cultural developments in the crucial "Classic Age" (5th Century CE). One of his major aims is to prove that it was the Vakatakas, under the emperor Harisena, and not the Guptas, that brought Indian culture to its apogee in the late 470s and to show that by analyzing and organizing Ajanta's "defining feature" in revealing developmental sequences, one can support, with specifics, the revolutionary (but now increasingly accepted) "short chronology" for which the author is well known. These "defining features" range from the changing types of Buddha images and living arrangements for the monks, to the precise analysis of the evolution of pillars, doorways, and excavation techniques. The volume also includes, at the start, a discussion of the transforming effect of competition, and finally war, as a key to Ajanta's highly driven development, its florescence, and finally its sad demise.

Series:

Agnieszka Helman-Ważny

In Archaeology of Tibetan Books, Agnieszka Helman-Ważny explores the varieties of artistic expression, materials, and tools that have shaped Tibetan books over the millennia. Digging into the history of the bookmaking craft, the author approaches these ancient texts primarily through the lens of their artistry, while simultaneously showing them as physical objects embedded in pragmatic, economic, and social frameworks. She provides analyses of several significant Tibetan books—which usually carry Buddhist teachings—including a selection of manuscripts from Dunhuang from the 1st millennium C.E., examples of illuminated manuscripts from Western and Central Tibet dating from the 15th century, and fragments of printed Tibetan Kanjurs from as early as 1410. This detailed study of bookmaking sheds new light on the books' philosophical meanings.

Art and Architecture in Ladakh

Cross-cultural Transmissions in the Himalayas and Karakoram

Series:

Edited by Erberto Lo Bue and John Bray

Art and Architecture in Ladakh shows how the region’s cultural development has been influenced by its location across the great communications routes linking India with Tibet and Central Asia. Edited by Erberto Lo Bue and John Bray, the collection contains 17 research papers by experienced international art historians and architectural conservationists, as well as emerging scholars from Ladakh itself. Their topics range widely over time, from prehistoric rock art to mediaeval Buddhist stupas and wall paintings, as well as early modern castle architecture, the inter-regional trade in silk brocades, and the challenges of 21st century conservation. Taken together, these studies complement each other to provide a detailed view of Ladakh’s varied cultural inheritance in the light of the latest research.
Contributors include: Monisha Ahmed, Marjo Alafouzo, André Alexander, Chiara Bellini, Kristin Blancke, John Bray, Laurianne Bruneau, Andreas Catanese, Philip Denwood, Quentin Devers, Phuntsog Dorjay, Hubert Feiglstorfer, John Harrison, Neil and Kath Howard, Gerald Kozicz, Erberto Lo Bue, Filippo Lunardo, Kacho Mumtaz Ali Khan, Heinrich Poell, Tashi Ldawa Thsangspa and Martin Vernier.

Series:

Angela Howard and Giuseppe Vignato

In Archaeological and Visual Sources of Meditation in the Ancient Monasteries of Kuča, Angela F. Howard and Giuseppe Vignato use diverse methodological approaches from archaeology, art history and religious studies to reconstruct monastic life and practices in the rock monasteries on the northern Silk Route (ca. 200-650). Analysis of the caves’ function, meditation manuals, and the cave murals highlights the centrality of meditation, a fundamental duty of Kuča monastics. This interdisciplinary study utilizes hitherto unpublished line drawings, maps, and photographs to reconstruct and interpret the architecture and décor of Kuča caves, thus revealing the close links between the spiritual and the physical, between doctrinal teaching and practice and the lay-out and décor of the monasteries.

Series:

Hans Bakker

The World of the Skandapurāṇa explores the historical, religious and literary environment that gave rise to the composition and spread of this early Purana text devoted to Siva. It is argued that the text originated in circles of Pasupata ascetics and laymen, probably in Benares, in the second half of the 6th and first half of he 7th centuries. The book describes the political developments in Northern India after the fall of the Gupta Empire until the successor states which arose after the death of king Harsavardhana of Kanauj in the second half of the 7th century. The work consists of two parts. In the first part the historical environment in which this Purāṇa was composed is described. The second part explores six localities in Northern India that play a prominent role in the text. It is richly illustrated and contains a detailed bibliography and index.


Series:

Walter Spink

Walter Spink’s intense concern with the development of the Ajanta caves and their architectural, sculptural and painted features finds its most insistent reflection in his present richly illustrated study. In part 1, Spink explains the many connections between the Bagh caves and its “sister site”, Ajanta. He particularly emphasizes the leading role that Bagh plays in establishing the “short chronology” and in the crucial matter of Buddhist shrine development from the aniconic to iconic forms of worship.
In part 2, along with his colleague Professor Naomichi Yaguchi, who also provided the photographs and the newly informative plans, the authors show how, over the course of a mere decade, better and better ways were discovered to fit the doors in the cells where the monks lived. Such an analysis reveals the vigor of the conceptual and technical changes that characterize Ajanta’s evolution from its start in the early 460s to its traumatic collapse in about 470. Moving from Ajanta’s beginning to its ending, the evolution of door fittings parallels the precise and dramatic
development of Indian history in the remarkable course of the emperor Harisena’s reign.