A nine-member Spanish team is in Bhopal to study rock art at Kathotiya in the outskirts of Bhopal, where prehistoric paintings dating to 10,000 to 15000 years old have been found in over 65 rock shelters. The team of rock art experts from Spain’s Centre de Estudies Contesantas, went to Kathotiya on Sunday, accompanied by noted archeologist Dr Narayan Vyas.
Vyas said the team wants to date, study colours and undertake some excavation work at Kathotiya rock art site, which was discovered by late Prof Shankar Tiwari from Hamidia College Bhopal in 1975.
“Spanish study of the rock art at Kathotiya can turn to be milestone in the rock art research art in India. This time, they are conducting a survey by photographing, taking notes, making sketches of the rock art here. After this, they will prepare a report on Kathotiya and apply for permission with the Archeological Survey of India before July, to date the rock art at Kathotiya, study the colour pigments used and also do excavations at the site,” he said.
“I am helping the Spanish team to study rock art at Kathotiya as I have done my post-doctoral research work on comparative study of rock paintings of Raisen district, with special emphasis on Bhimbetka. The team from Spain includes Pere Ferrer, Jose Elias, Amparo, Vargiana, Mouro, Jordi Ferrar, Rafel and so on. The team is here since February 16 and will leave for Spain on Tuesday, “ said Vyas, who retired as superintendent archaeologist in 2009.
Last year, Vyas spent two weeks in Spain, discussing rock art of Madhya Pradesh and comparing it the with some of the rock art sites in that country.
The Spanish team also interacted with the Bhopal Walk team led by Anil Gulati at Kathotiya. Bhopal Walk, a group which started as a Twitter handle, organises nature and heritage walks every Sunday in and around Bhopal.
“Our team was also in Kathotiya today. We interacted with the Spanish team there. They spoke about the importance of the rock art heritage from the perspective of archaeology and stressed on their protection. They also told us about the difference in the rock art of the two countries. They said in Spain, rock art is are mainly in black and red colour while in Madhya Pradesh, it is in white, red and green”, said Anil Gulati.