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A Few Relevant Comments Regarding Dating

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Chapter Summary

Throughout man’s history great monuments have generally been completed quickly, if only because patrons wish to see what they have done (and get the merit or the praise) before they die. The craftsmen who, in the early 460s, were told by their patrons to make caves that would “resemble the palaces of the lord of the gods” had never cut into a cliff before. Thus the earliest undertakings, like the Prime Minister’s Cave 16 or the rich Mathura’s Cave 4, are soberly restrained. As for Ajanta’s famous murals, all done within about a single decade, their striking differences reflect the fact that the painters who did them were drawn to Ajanta from all parts of the great empire. Indeed, work/time analyses prove that the estimated two or three dozen artists working at the site could have done all of the painting there in a single year.

Keywords: Ajanta; craftsmen; Mathura



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