Stone Inscriptions of Srinagar: A Digital Panorama

Stone Inscriptions of Srinagar: A Digital Panorama

Nadim Akhtar Khan (University of Kashmir, India) and Mohammad Farooq Batoo (Sir Syed Memorial College of Education and Training, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2500-6.ch007

Abstract

Traditional monuments are repositories of various types of inscriptions including both epigraphs and epitaphs and are a means for gaining knowledge about historical facts and events. Inscriptions have associated historical and intellectual value, and therefore, need to be identified and digitized in order to preserve these intellectual assets and make their knowledge content accessible at a global level. This chapter is an attempt towards identification, documentation, and creation of a digital collection of stone inscriptions available in various monumental structures at Srinagar. The work mainly involves identification of historical monuments in Srinagar with a rich inscription collection. These inscriptions constitute an important addition to the corpus of known historical texts from different historical time periods. The study analyses their content and attempts to provide associated metadata and related information about each identified inscription by collecting data through reading the inscriptions, discussions and consultations with concierge and local people, and by consulting other secondary sources pertaining to such inscriptions. High definition digital cameras were used to capture images. Greenstone Digital Library Software was used for managing the digital collection for preserving and disseminating the historical facts available in the form of inscriptions which forms a means for bridging the void between known and unknown facts about our social, historical, and cultural aspects.
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Importance Of Stone Inscriptions

The phrase 'etched in stone' is commonly used to denote durability but for monumental inscriptions, the fallacy of the phrase is apparent as stone is not everlasting and the inscriptions upon it even less so. The surface of stone weathers away over the years by various means including rain, wind, frost, vegetation, and chemical actions all take their toll on the surface of stone regardless of the type of stone. Some stones are laid on the ground and are walked upon by countless feet and the inscription on it is literally worn away and is barely legible. Gravestones get broken down (by accident or by vandalism), fall over, and become buried and overgrown. In fact, stone inscriptions can provide a very valuable amount of information to the archivists, historians, linguists, and genealogist, etc about historical, social, cultural and allied events of different time periods. Without maintaining proper records of such inscriptions, this valuable information will become lost forever.

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