SEEING INTO STONE: Pre-Buddhist Petroglyphs and Zangskaris Early Inhabitants by Rob Linrothe
xx+218p., full of col. illus., 22x28cm
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Petroglyphsodrawings on rockoare the earliest and richest traces of human culture in Zangskar, a distinctive region of the Western Himalayas. This volume is richly illustrated with original photographs taken in Zangskar and neighboring regions documenting the locations and details of these enigmatic rock carvings.
The photographs represent more than twenty years of fieldwork in Zangskar.
They accompany a wide-ranging inquiry into their subject matter, distribution, relationships with those in surrounding areas, and communication strategies. Through archaeology, comparative anthropology and ethnography, and formal analysis, the study, written in accessible prose, demonstrates the connections to hunter-gatherers and later to herders who made them. These drawings on stone once provided a visual legacy in the landscape of contemporary Zangksaris with their economy mixing agriculture and herding, but are fast disappearing with the destructive expansion of road-building and neglect.
Rob Linrothe trained as an art historian at the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD in 1992. He taught at Skidmore College in upstate New York for many years and was the first Curator of Himalayan Art at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Since 2010 he has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. His first off-road trek in Ladakh was in 1983, and since 1990 Linrothe has walked regularly in and through the mountains surrounding Zangskar, documenting and publishing the art preserved in the region, aided by local friends. Besides the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist art of Zangskar, Linrotheis research interests include the development, practice and patronage of Esoteric Buddhist art of eastern India, Tibet and the Western Himalayas.