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Art and culture are reflected to a far greater extent than political history in the epigraphic sources. Discuss.

1.  Art and culture are reflected to a far greater extent than political history in the epigraphic sources. Discuss.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

In a significant find, the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult. It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the significance of epigraphy in bringing out the value of art and culture of a region; explain in what way they reflect far greater depths of art and culture.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

 Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain briefly what epigraphy implies.

Body:

Discuss that Epigraphy implies the study of inscriptions. Beginning from the age of Harappan civilization a number of inscriptions have been discovered belonging to different periods of early Indian history. These inscriptions throw light on the politico-administrative, socio-cultural and religious life of the people.

Explain then the history reflected by the epigraphic sources; political history, art and culture etc.

Justify its significance.

Conclusion:

Thus art and culture as well as political life are reflected well in the epigraphic sources. At the same time, they must be complemented and supplemented by literary sources and other evidence to create a better picture of the early Indian Historical Tradition.