Naman Ahuja

Art and Archaeology of Ancient India : Earliest Times to the Sixth Century (Lecture)

17 April, 2019 - 17 April, 2019
Bangalore International Centre, Bangalore

Naman. P. Ahuja speaks on his latest book Art and Archaeology of Ancient India: Earliest Times to the Sixth Century, Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, 2018).

How was the Ashmolean Museum’s rich and representative collection of the art and archaeology of the Indian subcontinent formed? Largely assembled in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, its important holdings of the formative periods of Indian art up to AD 600 are fully presented in this book for the first time. In his talk, Professor Ahuja leads us through the highlights of the collection. The strength of the Ashmolean’s collection lies in its everyday objects in terracotta or other materials, such as the pots that people used, their small votive offerings, children’s toys or talismanic charms. Exploring these, Ahuja’s lecture provides a vivid insight into the art and material culture of South Asia from the Stone Age to the early post-Gupta period.


Naman P. Ahuja is a curator of Indian art, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and Co-Editor of Marg Publications. He was curator of Indian sculpture at the British Museum in 2001, and contributed to the exhibition and catalogue of Divine Presence: The Arts of India and the Himalayas at Casa Asia in Barcelona in 2003. He has curated a number of exhibitions on classical and contemporary art including the critically acclaimed The Body in Indian Art and Thought (2013) and India and the World: A History in Nine Stories (2018, co-curated with J. B. Hill). His studies on terracottas, ivories and small finds have drawn attention to the foundations of Indian iconography and transcultural exchanges at an everyday, quotidian level. His publications include The Making of the Modern Indian Artist Craftsman: Devi Prasad (2011) and The Art and Archaeology of Ancient India, Earliest times to the sixth century (2018).