Movable head of a bovine figurine from Harappa. Some movable figurine heads are pierced through the horns on either side of the head. The movable heads of figurines often depict cattle. They are usually pierced laterally through the neck and vertically or sagittally through the head in order to secure them to the bodies and control them with a cord. Also a toy cart from Nausharo, a bird whistle and a complete ox or water buffalo cart with figurine.
Posts relating to people, gender, artistic representations, and common types in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.
In connection with the recent post about Indus discoveries in Oman, we note that the archaeologist who discovered the first definitive evidence of Bronze Age trade between Balochistan and the Gulf, Beatrice de Cardi, just died at the age of 102. She worked with Sir Mortimer Wheeler who lent her "his foreman, Sadar Din, a minor official of the Pakistani Archaeological Department who, despite being illiterate, had an extraordinarily retentive memory for archaeological sites and taught her what to look for. Together they located some 47 archaeological sites . . .."
Not yet absolutely clear that this is an ancient Indus-style crown, but the chances are pretty good with find first reported in August. Reports on follow-up excavations in December by A.K. Pandey of the Archaeological Survey of India suggest it really could be from ancient Indus times, though final stratigraphy is awaited. The fact that the crown includes faience and carnelian, two typical ancient Indus precious materials, is promising. The August story can be found at Archaeology News Network. Read also the December report 4,000-Year-Old Copper Crown in India and a seal example of a similar
A nice piece on students on replicating Harappan techniques in Wisconsin in 2016 with Mark Kenoyer shows how much we have to learn about the complexity of ancient manufacturing.
Nude male figurine or deity from Mohenjo-daro. Note the wide, spreading beard. He is wearing a broken headdress that may have had two curving horns. For additional information on the representation of masculinity, see also Men of Harappa A and Men of Harappa B. For more male and female figurines, see also Embodying Indus Life: Terra Cotta Figurines.
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.
Molded tablets from Trench 11 at Harappa sometimes have impressions on one, two, three or four sides. This group of molded tablets shows the complete set of motifs. One side is comprised entirely of script and has six characters, the first of which (on the very top) appears to be some sort of animal. A second side shows a human figure grappling with a short horned bull. A small plant with at least six branches is discernible behind the individual. The third panel portrays a figure seated on a charpoy or throne in a yogic position, with arms resting on the knees.
There are two crocodilians found in the Indus river system: One is the mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) also known as 'magar much', and the other is the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus).
Ancient Indus males of stature seem to have had their hair tied in close buns, and with headband to further articulate their head. This is true of the priest king, shown here in a possible colored replica, the original, and in profile soon after being found in the 1920's. The figure below, with the same hair hair arrangement and headband, was found at Mohenjo-daro. Mark Kenoyer writes "Finely braided or wavy combed hair is tied into a double bun on the back of the head, and a plain fillet or headband with two hanging ribbons falls down the back.