Cōḻa Bronzes in the Context of the History and Culture of Tamil Nadu
The often contradictory statements found in publications demonstrate that there is a need for a thorough technological examination of Cōḻa bronzes. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few isolated examples, very little research has been made in the past. The results of investigations that did take place frequently remain unpublished, rendering any evaluation and comparison of the (old and new) data difficult or impossible. The paucity of technological research is surprising: while we can only guess how exactly metal icons were used in ancient India – we only have prescriptive, textual sources to guide us and a small number of inscriptions on temple walls – we do possess concrete evidence that can help us understand how the icons were made, and in this way we can enhance our knowledge of the past societies that created them. And yet, there are at this point not only unanswered questions, but questions that have never been asked. Therefore, we have decided to address these gaps in our understanding by sharing the preliminary results of our research project at the Rijksmuseum.
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