An Account of the Stone Carving in and Around Susunia Hill Area in Bankura District West Bengal, Eastern India: A Study of Continuity and Change

Tamal Dutta & Debasis Kumar Mondal

Department of Anthropology, University of Calcutta, India

Susunia hill in the Bankura district of West Bengal has yielded evidence of prehistoric human occupation from the Palaeolithic to Neolithic period, and into the Early Historic period. The contemporary, indigenous local communities of the Karmakar are well-known for their stone-working and carving crafts. The industry is primarily dependent on raw materials quarried from the Susunia hill, which are carved into many types of idol and decorative item. This craft is indigenous in nature, consisting of various technological stages that have similarities to the stages observed in the manufacture of prehistoric stone tools. This presentation discusses the contemporary lithic traditions of the Susunia area with a focus on traditional perspectives on technology and manufacture. An attempt is also made to study the surviving stone carving from an ethnoarchaeological point of view.