Our understanding of the geography of Gandhāran sculpture is still modest even though we can access a vast amount of artistic evidence dating to the first four centuries of the Common Era. In fact, the presence of a visual language that is relatively consistent across Gandhāra with shared iconographies, materials, and carving techniques does not facilitate the process of singling out stone working centres and workshops. This study focuses on a series of friezes associated with votive stūpas uncovered at the Buddhist sites of Gumbat/Balo Kale, Saidu Sharif and Pānṛ in the Swat valley. These centres were located in proximity to the ancient town of Bazira/Vajīrasthāna (Barikot) and were excavated by the Italian Archaeological Mission in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology, Pakistan respectively in 1960-64 (Pānṛ), 1963-66 (Saidu), and 2011-2012 (Gumbat/Balo Kale), the latter with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (Faccenna, Khan, and Nadiem 1993; Faccenna 1995; Olivieri et al. 2014). A comparative analysis of sculptural fragments associated with minor monuments erected at these sites reveals that in the surroundings of Barikot existed a regional ‘workshop’ manufacturing sculpture destined for the minor stūpas of the nearby sacred areas of Gumbat, Abbasaheb-china, Pānṛ, and Saidu. This paper will also suggest that a zonal workshop of this kind included artists specializing in the representation of themes of classical inspiration for which distinctive carving practices were also occasionally employed.

Regional workshops and small stūpas in the Swat Valley: an analysis of the evidence from Gumbat, Saidu Sharif, and Pānr

OLIVIERI L;
2019

Abstract

Our understanding of the geography of Gandhāran sculpture is still modest even though we can access a vast amount of artistic evidence dating to the first four centuries of the Common Era. In fact, the presence of a visual language that is relatively consistent across Gandhāra with shared iconographies, materials, and carving techniques does not facilitate the process of singling out stone working centres and workshops. This study focuses on a series of friezes associated with votive stūpas uncovered at the Buddhist sites of Gumbat/Balo Kale, Saidu Sharif and Pānṛ in the Swat valley. These centres were located in proximity to the ancient town of Bazira/Vajīrasthāna (Barikot) and were excavated by the Italian Archaeological Mission in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology, Pakistan respectively in 1960-64 (Pānṛ), 1963-66 (Saidu), and 2011-2012 (Gumbat/Balo Kale), the latter with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (Faccenna, Khan, and Nadiem 1993; Faccenna 1995; Olivieri et al. 2014). A comparative analysis of sculptural fragments associated with minor monuments erected at these sites reveals that in the surroundings of Barikot existed a regional ‘workshop’ manufacturing sculpture destined for the minor stūpas of the nearby sacred areas of Gumbat, Abbasaheb-china, Pānṛ, and Saidu. This paper will also suggest that a zonal workshop of this kind included artists specializing in the representation of themes of classical inspiration for which distinctive carving practices were also occasionally employed.
The Geography of Gandhāran Art
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3722737
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