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HOME : Asian Art : Indus Valley Artefacts : Late Bronze Period Anthropomorphic idol
Late Bronze Period Anthropomorphic idol - CB.3020
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1500 BC to 1200 BC

Style: Indus Valley Civilisation
Medium: Bronze


Location: Great Britain
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Description
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 two distinct categories, Types I and II. These anthropomorphic idols were often found alongside jewellery, arrow heads and axe heads, leading people to suggest that they were deposits designed to be eventually retrieved, in this life or the next; although some objects exhibit no signs of use and are often oversized or paper-thin, suggesting they were simply dedicatory and of no physical or mortal use. The copper ore used in the hoards comes mainly from modern day Rajasthan, Southern Haryana and West Bengal suggesting a localised production and tradition. Their originality, along with the small number of examples found, strengthens this idea that they were a particularly idiosyncratic object to this specific culture. Each has a semi-circular head, extended symmetrical limbs, the same marks of production, and weighs 3-6 kg. People have ascribed these mysterious objects various functions including throwing weapons, ingots, axes or multi-purpose tools; yet most archaeologists agree they are ceremonial votive idols. The patina of this particular idol suggests it spent many years deposited underground, possibly as part of a ceremonial burial. - (CB.3020)

 

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