In News: Indian archaeologists recently unearthed a rare life-sized stucco sculpture from a Buddhist site at Phanigiri in Suryapet, Telangana.

About the Sculpture:

  • Till date it is the biggest stucco sculpture found in India.
  • About 1.73 m in height and 35 cm in width, the figurine represents one of the Bodhisattvas belonging to the Jathaka Chakra.
  • It is believed to be belonging to the Ikshavaku dynasty.

About Ikshavaku Dynasty:

  • As per Puranic literature, it was founded by king Ikshvaku.
  •  It is also known as Sūryavaṁśa (the Solar dynasty).
  • Important Personalities belonging to this dynasty include: 
    • Lord Rama, 
    • Twenty-two out of twenty-four Jain Tirthankara, and 
    • according to Buddhist texts, Prince Siddhartha also belonged to this dynasty

About Stucco Art:

  • It is a material made from aggregates, binder, and water
  • It is applied wet and hardens into a very dense solid.
  • Traditional stucco was made of sand, water and lime while Modern stucco is made of sand, water and Portland cement. 
    • To increase permeability and workability of modern stucco, Lime is added to it.
  • It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture.
  • Stucco art was earliest seen in the Gandhara region (around Peshawar and northern Pakistan)
  • It was used mainly in the monastery complex. For example: In the sculptural art of Nalanda and Vikramshila monasteries stucco was used extensively.
  • In the Dravidian architecture hundreds of stucco figures were used to decorate the vimana.