Blog posts about the art of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.

Terra Cotta Tokens

Terra cotta tokens or tablets from Harappa. In Area G, south of the gateway on Mound ET, excavators found a concentration of as many as 31 identical cylindrical terracotta tablets (top center), but it is not known what they could have been used for. Concentrations of tablets recovered through recent excavations at Harappa indicate that these tablets become popular during the late part of Period 3B (2450 B.C.E.) and continue on into the final phase of the Harappan occupation, Period 3C (2200 to 1900 B.C.E.).

Two Wide Shell Bangles

Two magnificent wide shell bangles, each made from a single conch shell (Turbinella pyrum) found at Harappa.
Two magnificent wide shell bangles, each made from a single conch shell (Turbinella pyrum) found at Harappa. "The use of marine shell in the manufacture of ornaments and ritual objects provides one of the most striking examples of the continuity between the Indus cities and later cultures in South Asia. Along the coastal regions of Makran, Kutch and Gujarat, the conch shell or Turbinella pyrum was collected throughout the period following the decline of Indus cities.

Men of Harappa B

Male figurines are sometimes also identified by secondary sex characteristics such as beards. Occasionally, male figurines wear a headdress with two upward and/or outward projections like horns. Similar figures with horned headdresses are found in the iconography of seals, tablets, and pottery. It is possible that these represent composite figures with anthropomorphic and animal attributes or the appropriation of animal attributes in the form of a headdress. In addition to different postures, male figurines also exhibit a variety of hairstyles.

A Deer from Lothal

"The Lothal craftsmen exhibited originality of thinking and great resourcefulness. As an example we may mention the new style of earthenware with animal motifs which are more realistic than those on the Indus valley pottery," writes excavator S.R. Rao.