The Ancient Chronology of Thar: The Bhattika, Laukika and Sindh ErasHardback Oxford University South Asian Studies
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- Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PR
- Format: Hardback | 211 pages
- Dimensions: 193mm x 226mm x 43mm | 544g
- Publication date: 26 September 1996
- ISBN 10: 0195634748
- ISBN 13: 9780195634747
This book describes the ancient calendrical systems peculiar to the Thar Desert, their origin and the political and military background against which they developed. The Thar is a harsh, inhospitable tract straddling the border between India and Pakistan. Temperatures regularly exceed 45 degrees centigrade. Rain may fall once only in five years but then, within a day, level plains and recesses between rocky hills and sand dunes become flooded and crops rapidly grow. Life is sustainable. Over the past thousand years the Bhati Rajputs and other princely families of Thar have raised epigraphic monuments to commemorate their dead and to record the foundation of reservoirs and temples. These monuments, precisely dated, lie in vast numbers disarrayed across the desert. Hitherto, they have been virtually unknown to archaeologists and historians and have long since become unintelligible to the people of Thar.To obtain material for this book the author explored, in ever-widening circles from his base in the fortress at Jaisalmer, the pathless wastes of the desert in quest of monumental remains, alone on foot for the first two years but eventually by jeep.Based almost entirely upon original research, this book should be required reading for historians of Rajasthan and Sindh. It should also be of great value to students of South Asian epigraphy, as the author has invented a method of verifying precisely, in accordance with the parameters of the standard mediaeval astronomical authorities, historical dates issued from any part of South Asia. This method, once computerized, would enable epigraphic dates to be verified almost instantly, without the frequent errors that tabular calculation is prone to. Visitors and armchair travellers will be fascinated to discover that a region of such apparent desolation harbours so rich a depository of historical and calendrical data.
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