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Fathpur Sikri Revisited$
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Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198084037

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198084037.001.0001

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Identifying the Builders

Identifying the Builders

Masons’ Marks and Their Signatures

Chapter:
(p.176) Chapter 11 Identifying the Builders
Source:
Fathpur Sikri Revisited
Author(s):

Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198084037.003.0012

Not much is known about the actual builders or architects of various structures at Fathpur Sikri except for the information revealed about them by the masons’ marks and signatures carved on the stones. These stones reveal 145 signatures and 191 marks. All the signatures are in the Devnagari script and none of it appears to be that of a Muslim. Amongst the marks, we have zodiac signs, weapon marks, swastikas, geometrical designs, as well as fish marks. Probably the names and signatures are not of individual craftsmen, but of master-craftsmen who represented a guild or ‘school’ of craftsmen, while the mark was that of the ‘guild’ or the ‘school’ comprising these individuals.

Keywords:   masons, builders, stonecutters, craftsmen, marks, signatures, minor inscriptions, masons’ mark

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