Cave paintings lie in neglect

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 13.03.08
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Isco (Hazaribagh), March 12: Around 46km from here is the village of Barkagaon, where lies the Isco cave known for rock paintings over a thousand years old.

Jesuit Father Tony Hperbert, an associate with a local NGO, discovered the rock paintings in 1991.

Environmentalist Bullu Imam visited the area after he learnt about it from Herbert. He, in turn, informed the Bihar Archaeology Department that confirmed the antiquity of the paintings.

Megalithic explorer Subhasis Das, who is working in and around the district to ensure the safety of the ancient structure, said it was a matter of concern that, so far, no effort was made to preserve the rock paintings.

“I visit the site regularly to study the place and in the past two years, the rate of chipping has increased,” he said.

According to sources, Erwin Neumayer of Vienna and S.B. Otta, the head of pre-historical department of the Archaeological Survey of India, Nagpur, studied the cave paintings between 1993 and 1995.

Both the authorities dated the rock art to the Meso-chalcolithic period (9,000-5,000 BC).

Sources said several microlithis and polished stone axe-heads were found under painted shelters with evidence of Palaeolithic habitation.

While narrating a popular story, a villager Harimangal Munda, said: “Near the caves there is a small river called Marwatari. Here there is a wedding mandap called marwa. A king got married in the marwa (cave) and thus arose the name Marwatari.”

Das said: “It is shameful that officials have failed to take care of ancient rock art despite being aware of it.”