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Udupi: Ancient Sculpture Causes Ripples in Archaeology Circles

Udupi: Ancient Sculpture Causes Ripples in Archaeology Circles

Hemanath Padubidri
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (RD/CN)

Udupi, Nov 8: A rare stone sculpture depicting a bullock cart has been found by professor and students of Government First Grade College, HD Kote. The sculpture is assumed to be of the Punnata era.
 
Punnata was an ancient kingdom of Karnataka. There are various references to several naval expeditions sent by the rulers of Egypt from V and VI dynasties to the distant and mysterious land of ‘Punt’. This reference of Punt is identified as ‘Punnata’ by some scholars. Ptolemy called it ‘Pounnata’. An inscription from 300 AD says it is adorned by the rivers Kaveri and Kapini. Punnata rulers had matrimonial alliances with Kadambas and Gangas. All these evidences indicate the antiquity of Punnata.

Keerthipura or present day Kittur was the capital city of Punnata. But a major portion of Kittur was submerged in the Kabini back water. Ravirameshwara Temple of Kittur is the only monument that survives there today. The temple is supposed to have been built during the time of Punnata ruler Ravidatta, and was called Ravirameshwara.

“On the left side of the road, which leads to the temple, an interesting and a rare sculpture of a bullock cart has been found,” says Professor T Murugeshi, department of ancient history and archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, in a  press release.

The cart with two bulls is made of granite and is about two feet in height. We have seen bullock carts and chariots from the Shatavahana period, but as panel figures. This one is an independent sculpture, simply displaying the person who is controlling the cart with ‘chavati’ or a whip in his right hand and holding the reins in his left hand. The wheels of the cart have an arch-shaped covering. Even today, similar carts are widely used in weddings and festivals in villages.

Professor Murugeshi and Dr B Rajashekharappa date the cart to the 10th century, but Dr A Sundara holds that it was a kind of memorial figure datable to the Vijayanagar period. Though there are differences in dating the image, it was unanimously agreed that it is a rare sculpture.

Professor Ushadevi, Savitha, Shekar, and students of history of the Government First Grade College, HD Kote, are responsible for this notable discovery from Punnata.

For more information, contact:   

Professor Murugeshi, head of department of archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, at 9482520933 / 2532808.

Comment on this article

  • Jane , Richards

    Sat, Nov 12 2011

    Although there may not be concrete archaeological evidence connecting the Old Kingdom of Egypt with 'the land of Punt' until the New Kingdom era of Hatshepsut. It certainly could be possible that there may have been contact with the Harappan/Indus civilization. There have been discoveries of ships in Egypt dated to the Old Kingdom which, although buried, are thought to have been designed for sea travel. They have been described as being constructed of cedar, with caulking of bitumen and papyrus reeds. They also are stated to have had equipment, which would indicate masts and sails.

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