The tradition of ceramic art, standing the vicissitudes in its course, has withstood until today and is drawing great enthusiasm from the art lovers and critics alike. In the present thesis, the study of this art form among the chalcolithic cultures in India is made, under two broad categories- ‘Urban Chalcolithic cultures’ represented mainly by the Mature Harappan culture including its predecessors like the Hakra Wares culture and the Early Harappan culture which led to the emergence of city-states and the succeeding degenerated Late Harappan culture and the ‘Rural Chalcolithic cultures’ represented by the agrarian village settlements. The most important household object, across the cultures was pottery. Each culture had its own distinct pottery tradition and style. The pottery painting customs continued unabatedly across the timeframe of various periods. The artistic marvel of the chalcolithic artist is reflected in the pottery paintings with an array of geometric, floral and faunal motifs. Among the other works of art mention may be made of the clay and terracotta figurines of animals, birds, reptiles etc. The paintings on the pottery were of varied themes ranging from simple geometrical patterns to complex floral and faunal motifs and narrations or story-telling. The execution also varied from stylistic renditions to simplistic and naturalistic representations.
Dr Prabash Sahu was born in Odisha on 3rd of July 1968. After completing his Post Graduation in Ancient Indian History, with specialisation in Archaeology from the Department of History, University of Sambalpur, Odisha, he did the Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, Archaeolo-gical Survey of India, New Delhi. On having joined the Archaeological Survey of India, he was posted initially to the Archaeological Museum, Haleibidu, Karnataka and later to the Excavation Branch I, Nagpur. Being fortunate to be posted here, Dr Sahu enriched his already impressive list of archaeological field works further and by using