Mesolithic-era rock painting in Andhra Pradesh

Mesolithic-era rock painting in Andhra Pradesh

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.