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Excavating in A Cave, Cist and Church

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Item Code: UAS790
Author: A. K. Sharma
Publisher: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8180900762
Pages: 128 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 710 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About The Book

The book is three in one. It deals with the excavation reports of sites excavated by the author ranging from prehistoric times to almost modern. Beginning with the excavations in a cave in Maharashtra, to Megalithic cist burials in Uttaranchal and ending with the excavation and conservation of a church built by the Augustinian Frairs in Goa. It shows as how the friction between the two sects belonging to the same religion could lead to destruction of their own place of worship.

The results of the excavation in the cave show that right from the Middle Stone Age to Gond period, there was continuity, nullifying the view that for different cultures different waves of people are responsible. It is all indigenous and slow evolution.

In this book the author has also summarised the Northern Neolithic and evolution of Megalithic culture in India He has given interesting details as to how he and his team could work without any fear and hinderance in insurgent infec ted areas of Manipur, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh without any security cover from government agencies. The vivid description makes a thrilling reading.

About the Author

Shri A.K. Sharma, born in a remote village in Chhattisgarh, is internationally known for his original contributions in archacology and anthropology. During his 33 years of active career in Archaeological Survey of India, he explored and excavated in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, N.E. India, Lakshadweep, Chhattisgarh and other remote areas.

After retirement from Govt. service, he has so far published the following books: 1. Emergence of Early Culture in N.E. India, 2. Manipur, the glorious past. 3. Early Man in Eastern Himalayas, 4. Prehistoric Delhi and its neighbourhood, 5. Early man in Jammu, Kashmir and Laddakh, 6. Prehistoric burials of Kashmir, 7. The departed Harappans of Kalibangan, 8. Archaeoanthropology of Chhattisgarh, 9. Indian Megaliths and 10. Heritage of Tansa valley. His latest book 1. Excavating mesolithic rock-shelters, is in press. He has edited, Puraratna-Shri Jagat Pati Joshi felicitation volume, and Puraprakasa, Dr. Z.A. Desai commemoration volume. He has started a new research magazine, Puramanthan. Presently he is directing excavations at Mansar (Maharashtra). and Sirpur (Chhattisgarh). He has established an archaeological museum at Mansar and Maa Anandmayee Smriti Museum at Kankhal (Haridwar). He has been appointed Archaeological Advisor, Govt. of Chhattisgarh.


Occupying the central region of the Indian sub-continent, the Vindhyan-Satpura plateau, holds key to Indian Pre-history. Researches, particularly along the river basins of Central India, in last few decades have brought out a wide spectrum of developmental stages of Prehistoric culture in the region Researchers have mostly concentrated their studies along the rivers and in open air sites. Unfortunately, no attention, so far, has been paid to the potentialities of natural caves that exist in the Maikal range and probably in other ranges of Satpuras. As these caves, mostly still not easily accessible, due to their locations, have fortunately remained, by and large, undisturbed The cultural deposits of ancient past, in these caves if properly investigated hold promise of filling many gaps in the Prehistory of Central India.

A small effort was made by the author in October, 1992, the startling results of which are being presented here for the future scholars. It will be highly rewarding if one or two of these caves are scientifically excavated. It is also urgently required that they are declared as sites of National importance from Archacological point of view before the modern civilization destroys them as is happening elsewhere.

Unfortunately after independence Archaeological Survey of India has hardly added any prehistoric sites to its list of protected monuments and sites' though tremendous progress has been made in the field of prehistory by discovering and excavating a large number of sites by government institutions, universities. autonomous bodies and individual scholars. In North-East India, Jammu and Kashmir and Andaman Nicobar Islands not a single site finds place in the list of 'protected sites and monuments' of Archaeological Survey of India. Even State Governments are totally apathetic to this. We only hold meetings and indulge in tall talks for the need to develop these areas. Even sites like Didwana, Anangpur in Aravallies fell prey to the greed of quarry diggers and Survey Submitted meakly before the political clout.

It is high time serious scholars of prehistory pay attention to this serious problem before all major sites are devoured by developers and politicians. With increasing bureaucratization of scientific departments future appears bleak.


Darekasa is a very small railway station on Bombay-Howrah main fine, passing through Nagpur (Fig 1 Travelling from cast to west, when the train, after a prolonged halt at Dongargarh for water leaves the station, the topography of the area passing through our eyes, gradually changes from flat plateau to green cultivad fields to thick jungles, high and low hills. The chain of hills start occurring regularly from Hortalao tin Chhattisgarhi onwards and when the train approaches Darckasa (in Maharashtra), the south-north running Maikal range is just in front of us. Immediately west of the railway station the train enters a tonnel, which has been created through the width of the main Maikal range. After emerging from the tunnel, it moves on its descent journey through the jungles of destrict Gondia in Maharashtra, In the north lies the deep valley, jungles and high hills with cliff formations It is in these hills that most of the caves are located. These caves which in prehistoric times were abodes of Early Man are now hide outs of insurgents.

The biggest of the Kachgad Caves could be easily seen from Darekasa railway platform (P. & Il On the north-eastern side, above the jungle, a gigantic arch is clearly visible. It is this look of the cave that attracted my attention on 8th October, 1959, when I was travelling from my home town Raipur (Chhattisgarh) to Nagpur by a passenger train, to join my duties in Archaeological Survey of India. As the passenger halted at Darckasa for few minutes there was plenty of time to have a good look at the huge arch. On enquires from co-passengers, mostly people from nearby areas, I was informed that there is a Khoh there but due to wild animals and dense forest, slippery ups and downs, it is difficult to upproach easily. It is since then the bug entered my brain to see the cave from inside and explore the area for any such other caves. I must have passed through Darekasa several times on my up and down journeys to and from Nagpur to Raipur and to distant cast and North-East for explorations and excavations. it is really strange, till the fag end of my carrier in the Archacological Survey of India, I could not somehow make it to the cave. But whenever passed through Darekasa and looked towards the area 1 felt a pull in my brain, a cry in my cars please come, explore and excavate me' Though got time to explore and excavate in areas like Kashmir, Manipur Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Kutch and Lakshadweep Islands, it is really strange could not get any for a site and place hardly 200 kms from Nagpur. It was only from 20th September 1992 to 23rd September, 1992, that the long cherished desire since thirty three years was fulfilled. Right from Ponda Dongri to Bhadra-Sur (both in Chhattisgarh) through Darckasa, the entire area was explored and a number of caves with habitational deposits were located. On 20.9.92 we settled down in the forest guest-house at Bortalao. On the morning of 21.9.92, we left the guest-house for Darekasa with the intention to visit the arched caved and explore nearby area for others. Before crossing the rail line at Darekasa, we halted at a roadside small tea hut for tea and for enquiries about approach to the caves. It is hear my eyes met the eyes of Mulur Kathout, the owner of the tea stall. A little chitchat convinced me-hear is a man who knows places and who can take us to different caves. He did take us to all the caves described here. A medium statured, fair complexioned, middle aged man, surprisingly, had visited all the caves, some are far away, some are in most inaccessible areas and dangerous to visit alone.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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