This website has been developed as a resource for Teaching as well as for University based Research, as well as for Heritage Planners and Administrators to consult while devising or planning a proper strategy for conserving the rock art heritage of this country. Our primary aim for constructing, developing and maintaining this website has been to archive and to explain the visual data outputs of our fieldwork under a Two-Year Research Project "The Documentation and Analysis of the Rock Art of Uttar Pradesh with Special Reference to the Rock Art of Mirzapur District, Uttar Pradesh". This Research Project has been funded by the Indian Council Of Historical Research, New Delhi, and the research for it is being carried-out by Faculty and Students, at the Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.
We thank the Forest Department of Uttar Pradesh, the Directorate of Archaeology (U.P.), Government of Uttar Pradesh, and the Archaeological Survey of India, Office of the Director-General, Delhi, and the Lucknow and the Bhopal Circles of the Archaeological Survey of India, for the necessary permissions and nods of approval.
This website has also been constructed to make public the data and analyses of this project, as a stepping-stone towards a Public Archaeology in India, of which at present, there seems little or no evidence. For instance, the state of the conservation and preservation of the rock art of the Vindhyan Region, which is so well-evident from the documentation of it, provided on this website.
There has been little debate, even in Banaras, regarding the very urgent need to take such steps, as would ensure their long-term survival, for public viewing as for archaeological and allied research. Equally, in the odd three years of the existence of this website, we haven't seen any evidence or responses which would suggest that anybody, anywhere, is interested either in such an enterprize. Surely these three years were long-enough not only for such debates, but also for some concrete-steps to have been taken. Hence, this website.
Furthermore, it is in such a sense, that the Internet or the WWW, provides a chance to teachers and to researchers, to create an alternate space and place, for such debates as "The Media", as most commonly conceived-of in India, cannot possibly provide in any sustained manner, and for which it has been well-said by Dr. Marshall McLuhan, that The Media has a Memory of Five Minutes.
A word to the wise is sufficient?
Here is wishing a Happy Viewing to all our Guests and Visitors!
Ajay Pratap (M. Phil and Ph. D University of Cambridge)
ICHR, Rock Art of Mirzapur Project
Department of History
Faculty of Social Sciences
Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi - 221 005