The Barabar caves in India

whitewave

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#2
Wow! these caves are amazing. From the write up in Wiki they were originally built for a secret religious group called the Ajivikas. They had a resonant effect used for singing by the sect. They're basically echo sound chambers. The emperor later dedicated them as a refuge to the people during inclement weather.

It's a bit hard to believe that in 257 BC they were able to polish GRANITE to a mirror finish.

Gopika_cave_Anantavarman_inscription.jpg Sudama_cave_mirror-polished_walls.jpg

"Commenting of Mauryan sculpture, John Marshall once wrote about the "extraordinary precision and accuracy which characterizes all Mauryan works, and which has never, we venture to say, been surpassed even by the finest workmanship on Athenian buildings".
This remarkable and large-scale polishing technique, and in many ways without parallel, seems nevertheless to have been derived from polishing techniques in Achaemenid statuary, the stone-working techniques having spread in India after the destruction of the empire by Alexander the Great in 330 BC and the displacement of Persian and Perso-Greek artists and technicians. This know-how seems to have disappeared again after the Maurya period, none of the later caves such as the Ajanta caves having this characteristic of polished surfaces. According to Gupta, the polishing of rocks could have a local origin, citing the existence of polishing technologies of the neolithic, as visible in various stone tools such as axes. There is, however, no trace of evolution from these neolitical tools to polished stone architecture, and the Barabar caves are essentially a sudden technological break with no local history, suggesting the import of these techniques from another culture. Nor are there any known examples of stone architecture in India before the Maurya period. According to Gupta, the Son Bhandar Caves could be such an intermediate step, although relatively unique, and subject to questioning its chronology, since it is generally dated to the 2nd-4th centuries of our era."

It seems that even Wiki questions the chronology.

"On the floor of the porch, four holes were made, which are thought to allow the cave to be closed with a wooden picket fence.[6]" Does anyone else find it absurd to suggest that people who made polished curved arches in granite caves would secure the place with a wooden picket fence?

Excerpt from the Vadathika cave inscription, translated: " There was a glorious king, the illustrious Yajnavarman, who, as if he were Anu, instructed all rulers of the earth in the duty of those who belong to the warrior caste;..."

Anu is a Sumerian deity, isn't it?

And a little something about the Ajivika: The Ājīvika philosophy, along with the Cārvāka philosophy, appealed most to the warrior, industrial and mercantile classes of ancient Indian society. Ājīvikas were atheists. Seems odd to me that a Jainist (or Buddhist) king would reserve the use of such expensive workmanship to a rival "religious" group.

Looks like it might be worth reading: The Mahabharata Secret. The story follows Vijay and his friends, as they try to decipher a series of clues which would lead them to a devastating Secret hidden by a Brotherhood known as the nine men. (9 Worthies?) Doyle had initially started writing a story for his daughter, which gradually expanded into the book. The author was primarily inspired by the Indian epic Mahabharata, believing its events to be based on scientific facts. Doyle believes in the possibility of the existence of a secret history which was probably not recorded in antiquity.
 
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whitewave

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#4
Entirely plausible and more likely.

"We know of the making of artificial basalt in Mesopotamia (see the paper published in magazine Science: From Shifting Silt to Solid Stone, The Manufacture of Synthetic Basalt in Ancient Mesopotamia, by E.C. Stone and al., Science, Vol. 280, 26 June 1998, page 2091)."

Still, such an endeavor would have required skilled, knowledgeable laborers, time, materials, transport of materials, specialized equipment. All for a music hall? I'm wondering what was the real purpose of such a structure?
 

humanoidlord

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Still, such an endeavor would have required skilled, knowledgeable laborers, time, materials, transport of materials, specialized equipment. All for a music hall? I'm wondering what was the real purpose of such a structure?
something music/sound related sounds plausible considering the mirror quality of the walls
 
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#6
I also think they are molded. Could not help it and visited Wikipedia. Gush, our frigging scientists... I wish we could gether them all together by some granite mountain, provide with diamond chisels and a roll of polishing cloth. I’m sorry, but what a crock of shit.

AED9B3CC-11A4-462C-B9A9-EFB1475B24F8.jpeg
The caves were carved out of granite, an extremely hard rock, then finished with a very nice polishing of the inner surface, giving a mirror effect of a great regularity, as well as an echo effect.
 
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