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Archaeology, Art and Ethnography of Bronzes of Nepal

Mala Malla
Publication Year:
209pp, Illustrated throughout with 247 figures and 4 colour plates
Sub-series name:
South Asian Archaeological Series, 13
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


Bronze art of Nepal bears its distinctive stamp on the cultural history of the country. Meager and sporadic research on the subject carried out so far deals only with the description of the features and appreciation of art objects. This volume is the first comprehensive study of ancient and medieval bronzes of Nepal in a historical perspective. The study also covers the techniques applied by Newar artists of the Kathmandu Valley to the manufacturing of bronze objects, and gives a brief outline of the political history of Nepal with a view to placing the country's bronze art in a historical perspective. The earliest evidence of metallurgical work in Nepal consists of a large number of silver and gold coins excavated from the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) site of Tilaurakot in the valley and dated to 5th - 2nd century BC. The history of bronze art in the valley begins with the Lichhavi period, dated to 5th - 9th centuries AD. This period is also represented by stone sculptures in the Gupta style of India. In several appendices the author provides useful information in respect of various museums and private collections. 97 published inscriptions of ancient and medieval periods are includes as well as glossary of technical terms relating to temple architecture, stone and bronze art objects. The study gives a comprehensive picture of the bronze work in Nepal in all its aspects and is based on detailed field work and library research. It will be an invaluable aid for future research on bronze art in Nepal.