Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Focusing on man's first canvas for his creativity -- rock art -- the Archaeological Survey of India's Institute of Archaeology organised the 10th Annual Congress of the Rock Art Society of India (RASI) here over the weekend. This two-day event that began on Friday brought together experts on the subject with the aim of highlighting new trends in research in the field.

Inaugurated by Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) Chairman D.N. Tripathi, the annual conference gives scholars the chance to discuss a form of art in the country that is increasingly facing the pressures of urbanisation. While there are famous examples of this legacy from prehistoric times in India, it has received very little attention or recognition in the country.

"Indian rock art is at the crossroads in this age of extinction. The study of rock has to move away from stylistic and iconographic descriptions to experimental studies,'' said the member-secretary of the IGNCA, K. K. Chakravarty.

Delivering the Dr. Wakankar Memorial Lecture, Dr. Chakravarty said it was important to move from piecemeal chemical or structural conservation into ecological conservation.