Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 27:

Following the major discovery of 4,000-year old civilisation in Chandaka sanctuary on outskirts of Odisha capital by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), suggestions poured in from the experts for preservation of stone carvings and artworks of the Stone Age period.

Earlier, the discoveries were made about the Copper Stone Age civilisations near Daya and Mahanadi rivers. The skeleton found near Jatani during excavation had indicated about the rich civilisation of Stone Age in Odisha. The recent discovery of stone carvings and artworks of Stone Age at Chandaka has taken the history of civilisations in Odisha to thousand years back. While the artworks discovered in the caves of hill in Chandaka are assumed to be of 4,000 years old, it has resemblance with the civilisations discovered in the recent past across India. Such civilisation is also found in Australia and South Africa, the researchers said.

Odisha is rich in stone art. Earlier, similar type of civilisation had been discovered in various places in Odisha. While the civilisation was discovered in Europe in 1960-70s, the artworks of Stone Age are found in various places in India, Australia and South Africa in the past 50 years. The recent discovery of Stone Age civilisation at Chandaka hints at new direction of Odisha’s civilisation. The difference between the stone art found from coastal Odisha and western Odisha needs to be examined, said Prof Kishore Chandra Basa, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Utkal University.

This not a civilisation, rather, an ancient culture just before the beginning of human civilisation. When humans were hunting for food and living in the caves, that was the culture found during that period. The discovered stone art gives a clear picture of ancient culture of Odisha. Earlier, it was found in elephant cave in Udaygiri hill. The artworks are the extended part of the art found in the Udayagiri hill, said Utkal University retired Prof Sadhashiv Pradhan.

The discovery of the culture in Chandaka wildlife reserve makes it more important. The stone carvings should be conserved, he said.

Raising concern over the decay of stone in the hill, he said that effect is likely to be put on the stone art discovered at the site.

Notably, the ancient civilisation was discovered by the ASI Bhubaneswar circle during three-month research at the Chandaka sanctuary.

The team led by ASI Bhubaneswar circle deputy superintendent DB Garnaik revealed that there was human habitat in the hill caves located in the north-west of forest approximately 4,000 years ago.

The primary statistics revealed that the artwork on reptiles, weapons and geometrical signs prove that people were living in Parthapur, Kusapangi, Gayalbank areas, around 20 km away from Cuttack and 40 km from Bhubaneswar, 3,500-4,000 years ago.

The similar artworks have been discovered at Bhimbhetka in Madhya Pradesh. Also Read: