Three sculptured heads from Amravati, photographed on site after the Government excavations of 1880
Photographer: Coney, Sergeant
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of three sculptured heads from Amravati, near the ancient city of Dharanikota in Andhra Pradesh, photographed on site after the Government excavations of 1880, taken by Sergeant Coney in 1880. The Amaravati Stupa was founded in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC and enlarged in the 1st-4th centuries AD under the Satavahana and Ikshvaku patronage and represents one of the greatest architectural achievement of ancient India. Colin Mackenzie (1754-1821) encountered the stupa at Amaravati in 1798, making him the first European to discover this Second Century Buddhist monument. In the 19th century a series of excavations took place at the site. In 1880 the Governor of Madras, the Duke of Buckingham, gave the order to J.G. Horsfall to 'clear' the site. In this way the site turned into a large pit with the excavated sculpture arranged around it. The monument now only survives in the collections of the Amaravati sculptures kept in various museums.