Buddhist monks praying in front of the stupa in Ajanta Cave 26
The rock-cut architecture at world-famous sites like Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Badami, and many others have captured the imaginations of visitors and devotees for centuries. The sites are notable not just for their antiquity and religious significance, but also for the ingenious and sophisticated techniques used to create them. Somewhere between works of architecture and massive sculptures, these monasteries and temples were excavated from the sides of mountains. Because of their enduring nature, these Ajivika, Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu sites provide rare opportunities for understanding India’s past.
Robert DeCaroli, an art history professor at George Mason University, explores the origins of the rock-cut architectural form in the third century B.C. and introduces some of the most important examples created in the following centuries. He examines what we know about these sites’ histories, how they were made, and what was required to maintain them in antiquity—as well as how they are being protected from threats today.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.