Deity Strangling Tigers Tablet

Planoconvex molded tablet from Harappa showing a deity battling two tigers. "The thick jungles of the Indus Valley were full of tigers and leopards, so it is not surprising that the image of a ferocious feline is a recurring motif in ritual narratives on seals as well as molded tablets... The figure strangling the two tigers may represent a female, as a pronounced breast can be seen in profile. Earlier discoveries of this motif on seals from Mohenjo-daro definitely show a male figure, and most scholars have assumed some connection with the carved seals from Mesopotamia that illustrate episodes from the famous Gilgamesh epic. The Mesopotamian epics show lions being strangled by a hero, whereas the Indus narratives render tigers being strangled by a figure, sometimes clearly males, sometimes ambiguous or possibly female. This motif of a hero or heroine grappling with two wild animals could have been created independently for similar events that may have occurred in Mesopotamia as well as the Indus valley." (Mark Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, p. 114)

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