Ashmolean Museum Oxford

Art and Archaeology of Ancient India

by Naman P. Ahuja


Naman P. Ahuja is Professor of Indian Art and Architecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His University of London doctoral thesis (2001) was on early Indian terracotta sculptures. He has since published widely on Indian art of many periods, and he curated the major exhibition 'The Body in Indian Art and Thought' (2013), held at Brussels and New Delhi.

The Ashmolean Museum is fortunate in having the most comprehensive British collection of the art of the Indian subcontinent outside London. Especially strong in sculpture, this rich representation of Indian art from prehistory to the twentieth century has come about through the generosity of our benefactors over more than three centuries.

The Museum's first major Indian sculpture acquisition, a stone Pala-style Vishnu image of the eleventh century, was given in 1686 by Sir William Hedges, a governor of the East India Company in Bengal. From the late nineteenth century, a substantial core of the present collection was assembled at the University's former Indian Institute Museum (1897-1962), precursor of the Department of Eastern Art, which opened within the Ashmolean in 1963.

Since that date many more Indian objects of all periods have been acquired by gift, bequest or purchase. This hardback book covers all early Indian objects (pre-600 AD) held by the Department of Eastern Art in the Ashmolean Museum.

Containing previously unpublished material and new photography of all objects, there are over 400 illustrations of this immersive and comprehensive British collection of the art of the Indian subcontinent.


Book contains: 360 pages.

Dimensions: 25.4 x 3.3 x 30.68cm