Mesolithic-era rock painting in Andhra Pradesh
Painting of a man tilling land found at cave shelters at Orvakallu village in Guntur district.
What was discovered?
- D. Kanna Babu, a former Superintending Archaeologist for the Temple Survey Project (Southern Region) of the Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai, discovered the rock painting.
- He came across it while looking across the lower River Krishna Valley to examine the shrines’ architectural details.
Where was it located?
- In the Andhra Pradesh village of Orvakallu, in the Guntur district, rock art was discovered on the walls and ceiling of natural rock shelters.
Mesolithic humans, who lived approximately 5000 BC, are thought to have painted the rocks.
What kind of materials were used?
- Natural white kaolin and red ochre paints were used to create the paintings.
- While kaolinite is a soft, earthy mineral produced by the chemical weathering of aluminium silicate minerals like feldspar, ochre is a pigment made of clay, sand, and ferric oxide.
The present condition of these paintings:
- Due to exposure to air and wind over thousands of years, the majority of rock art has sustained substantial deterioration.
- Visitors can still see some of the sketches and outlines that have managed to remain.
What does this painting signify?
- The finding of these rock paintings is significant because it provides archaeological proof of early agricultural methods and a semi-settled lifestyle during the Mesolithic era.
- It aids in understanding the customs, social systems, and cultural facets of the inhabitants of the area at the time.
How to preserve these paintings?
- Despite their degradation, the rock drawings serve as a reminder of the necessity for preservation efforts to safeguard and conserve this priceless cultural asset.
- The preservation of these antiquated pieces of art for future generations should be ensured by taking steps to stop further deterioration.