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HOME : Asian Art : Indus Valley Artefacts : Late Bronze Period Anthropomorphic idol
Late Bronze Period Anthropomorphic idol - CB.3021
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1500 BC to 1200 BC

Collection: Indus Valley Civilization
Style: Anthropomorphic
Medium: Bronze

Location: Great Britain
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Indus Valley Civilization copper/bronze anthropomorphic idols constitute a rare though fine example of the abstract silhouette of the human figures, which were created by the indigenous inhabitants of the Ganges river valley. Often discovered together with other implements such as harpoons and rings, such enigmatic figures were cast in molds from copper and then hammered, with the chisel marks often left easily discernible. It has been suggested that these idols functioned as protective guardian spirits.

Such bronze idols belongs to a group of objects from India published by the well-known archaeologist Paul Alan Yale, which he labelled collectively as “Anthropomorphs”. They are part of the Copper Hoard culture – a Late Neolithic to Early Bronze age society that extended from the Gangetic Plains, across Northern India and was first detailed in 1822. They may be divided in several distinct categories based on their characteristics.

This Idol belongs to the 'Type 1' category, constituted by semi-circular headed idols, with curved arms signifying ram’s horns, standing with spread legs. The distinctive chisel marks -typical of these artefacts- are clearly visible. Ears, nose, eyes and lips have been delicately rendered. The natural attractive patina is sign of a prolonged permanence under the surface of the earth. - (CB.3021)


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