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Harappan Period



Bronze Statuette. 51/2 ". Mohenjodaro. Negroid. Artist had mastery over foreshortening & torsion, National Museum, New Delhi

(click on pic. to see larger image)


Female figurine,teracotta

elaborate hairdress.

May be great goddess.

Harappa. Beginning 2nd 

millenium BC.National Museum, New Delhi (click on pic. to see larger image)


Miniature teracotta draw cart with a female figure National Museum Karachi.3 mill BC. votive object on toy. Cart, figure,wheels(1.62'dia), zebus.

(click on pic. to see larger image)


Fragment of red teracotta vase from Mahenjodaro 3rd millenium BC.National Museum Karachi. Stylized goat like figures(ibexes) framed in panels.


Jewels from Harappa.3 mill BC. National Museum New Delhi. Gold,Semiprecious.

Stones vitreous paste double coil ornament, gold bracelet.

jewelry was advanced. (click on pic. to see larger image)







The earliest recorded artistic expression of man in India comes from Mohenjo-daro, the Harappan period. It includes steatite seals impressed with diverse animals like the unicorn bull, the Brahmani bull, rhinoceros etc., earthenware jars painted with birds, and stylized flowers, leaves, and terracotta toys, animals and figurines and the occasional copper and stone sculpture. The demise of the Harappan civilization is believed to have been brought about by a major tectonic shift as proved by hydrological studies, which caused wide continuos floods. Following this, came the Aryan culture which is well known for it's Vedic religion. The only Dravidian or Pre-vedic visual art form which survived the test of time was the Cave or Rock paintings which appear to be concentrated in Central India featuring hunting scenes, and sometimes X-ray imagery where internal organs of animals etc. were depicted. These have been dated around c.5500 BC. Historians tend to date the Rigved between 1500 and 1000 BC and the Sama, Yajur and Atharv Vedas between 900 and 600 BC . The most revered of the Indian epics, the Mahabharata (world's longest poem with 90,000 verses) and Ramayana are also believed to have been compiled around 400 BC. The Vedanta and it's texts called the Brahmsutras are attributed to the the first century AD. These are revered and studied in India till date as the basis of modern Hindu intellectualism.


a) Seal with a 'unicorn'

& ritual objects



b) Humped bull & pictographic writing. Mahenjodaro 3 mill BC. National Museum Karachi. (click on pic. to see larger image)


Slipped teracotta plate with 2 holes on border. Painted decoration on inside surface.Harappa.3rd millenium BC.National Museum New Delhi.

My stilized figure of stag,with abstract decorative motifs indicative of space.

(click on pic. to see larger image)

Static seals from Mahenjodaro

3 mill BC.National Museum Karachi.

a) Goddess among leaves

of an asvaltha tree. Hairdress suggests lunar divinity. Similar figure in prayer pose drags a strange bull like animal with zigzag horn for sacrifice.7 attendants in characteristic dress follow.


b) Unicorn bull ie, sadledress.


c) Male deity on a bench in Yoga posture.


d) Creature with 3 heads goat, unicorn, bull.

 (click on pic. to see larger image)

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Arts Indian Atelier 1999-2000