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.
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
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.