The long-lost Saraswati is known to have traversed through parts of (the present-day) Haryana and Rajasthan, before winding westward into the desert tract of Pakistan. However, all along its two banks, it has left ample traces of the pre-Harappan/Harappan/PGW-related habitations in the Ganganagar region of Rajasthan. Yet another old Chalcolithic culture, known as Banas culture, flourished in south Rajasthan, simultaneously with the pre-Harappan and Harappan, while other areas of Rajasthan witnessed flowering of historical cultures from the Mauryan times onwards.
Almost since India''s independence, Rajasthan''s pre-and proto-historic archaeology has captured a relatively greater attention -- leading to the retrieval of many many terracotta objects from its different excavated sites, like Sothi, Kalibangan, Binzor, Ahar, Gilund, Noh, Ganeshwar, Jodhpura, Sardargarh, Bagor, Kadukota, Nagari, Bairat, Aguncha, and Rangmahal. This book examines the whole extent of the region''s unearthed material : in ''terracotta'' medium, to reconstruct the social, economic, cultural and religious life of the people, who lived from the pre-Harappan/Harappan times to the golden age of the Guptas.
In eight well-organized chapters, the author delinates the reported terracotta finds of (1) Protohistoric Times : pre-Harappan, Harappan, post-Harappan, Chalcolithic, and Painted Grey Ware (PGW) Culture, and (2) Early Historical and Historical Periods: Maurya, Sunga, Scytho-Parthian, Kushana, and Gupta dynasties -- highlighting not just the variety of forms: ranging from animal-and-human figurines to cult/ritual objects, but also the art patterns that emerge from the varied terracotta forms over the rolling centuries. Also she tries to show how these compare with the corresponding forms from other regions. Supporting Dr Sant''s narrative are 65 illustrative plates.
Dr Urmila Sant, currently with the Institute of Archaeology, New Delhi, has been intimately involved in a number of excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Introduction -- Geographical, Geological and Geomorphological Background -- Survey of Sites -- Proto-historic Terracottas -- Early Historical and Historical Terracottas -- Technical Studies and their Correlation with Present Day Techniques -- Socio-Economic and Religious Life as Gleaned from the Terracottas -- Conclusion.