The Lady of the Spiked Throne

The Power of a Lost Ritual

An exceptional and controversial recent find in a private collection is analyzed by a leading Italian archaeologist in this fully illustrated complete volume. With many potential implications for understanding ancient Indus culture.

From the Preface
In Autumn 2009, I was invited by a private collector to see an artefact that was mentioned as unique and very complex, and reportedly belonged to the cultural sphere of the Indus civilization. I do not have professional links with the antique market and the world of private collectors, but the descrip- tions I had of the find were so puzzling that for once I accepted the invitation to examine the new find. I was generously hosted by the family of the collector and what I saw fully rewarded the trip and the time. There I spend two whole days, looking in detail to the most amazing and better preserved terracotta group sculpture of the 3rd millennium cal BC I had ever seen, while a professional photographer and her assistant took the pictures you see in this book.

. . . in this case the find is so exceptional, and its archaeological and historical implica- tions so important, that to bury forever the information in the shelves of a private collector would only add damage to damage. After consulting with several colleagues, I decided to publish it. The only purpose of this book is to make the find available to the specialists and to open a discussion on its meaning.