A Story Tablet from Harappa

One side of a planoconvex molded tablet found in 1995 in Mound ET at Harappa. Mark Kenoyer writes about his narrative scene depicting the killing of a water buffalo: "A person, possibly a man, with hair tied in a bun on the back of the head, impales a water buffalo with a barbed spear. The hunter's foot presses down on the water buffalo's head as he thrusts the spear into its shoulder. In Later Hindu rituals, the water buffalo sacrifice is associated with the worship of the goddess Durga, but on this seal the sacrifice takes place in the presence of a priest or deity seated in yogic position. The seated figure wears bangles and a horned and plumed headdress. Above the head of the hunter is a gharial, a small species of crocodile with a narrow snout that was once common in the Ravi and Indus rivers, but is now almost extinct. Similar scenes of an individual spearing a water buffalo have been found on other terracotta tablets from both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro."(Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, pp. 114-5).

Material: Terra Cotta
Dimensions: 3.91 Length, 1.5 to 1.62 cm Width
Harappa, Lot 4651-01
Harappa Museum, H95-2486
Meadow and Kenoyer 1997