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Elephant capital from ancient monolith, Sankasya, Fatehgarh District.

Elephant capital from ancient monolith, Sankasya, Fatehgarh District.

Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(680)

Item number: 1003680

Genre: Photograph

This photograph of an elephant capital from Sankasya was taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s and is from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections (Indian Museum Series). The photograph has been printed from a poor quality negative and shows damage to the emulsion at the edges, possibly due to premature drying of collodion. A contemporary description of the site reads as follows, "At 400 feet to the north of the temple mound there is a capital of an ancient pillar bearing the figure of an elephant, standing, but both his trunk and tail are wanting. The capital itself is of the well known bell-shape, corded or reeded perpendicularly, with an abacus or honeysuckle similar to that of the Allahabad pillar. The figure of the elephant is by far the best representation of that animal that I have seen in any Indian sculpture..." A. Cunningham, Four reports made during the years 1862-63-64-65. The capital bears a strong resemblance to the Asokan pillar at Lauriya Nandangarh.

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