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Early Harappan Terracotta Figure Fragment

Early Harappan Terracotta Figure Fragment

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The Early Harappan civilization, c. 3200-2600BC, Sindh, Pakistan.

Lovely ancient figure fragment. Harappan civilization (also known as Indus Valley civilization) was a Bronze Age civilization in the northwestern regions of South Asia, lasted from about 3300-1900BC. It extended over almost 1,25 million square kilometres, and had several large cities with baked brick structures and an intensive drainage network. Over 1000 sites have been found of this ancient culture. Its sites spanned an area from much of Pakistan, to northeast Afghanistan, and northwestern and western India. Together with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of the early civilizations of the Near East and South Asia.

Early Harappan refers to a period between 3200-2600BC, when settlements had spread all over the north-western plains, extending into Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. According to the archaeologist Gregory Possehl, there were four approximately contemporary, interrelated, archaeological cultures that can be called early Harappan. The main differences in these cultures are the different pottery types. These cultures were Amri-Nal (named after two sites of Amri and Nal), Kot Diji, Damb Sadat, and Sothi-Siswal.

The anthropomorphic and animal terracotta figurines from Harappa and other Indus civilization sites offer a rich reflection of some of the Harappan ideas about representing life in the Bronze Age. A fine fragment of a ancient zoomorphic animal. A hand-modeled terracotta head delineated in an abstract style characteristic of the early Harappan culture. Good condition. Age-related heavy wear, abrasion and corrosion. Rich deposits on exterior. Size approx. 6,5cm x 6,2cm x 6,4cm. 

Provenance: Danish private collection

References and further reading:

The Harappan Civilisation: Its Sub-cultures, Roshen Dalal, The Pioneer, Thursday, 10 May 2018.

Indus Valley Civilization, Mark, Joshua J., World History Encyclopedia, Last modified October 07, 2020 (

The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Gregory L. Possehl, AltaMira Press, 2002.

The Harappan Civilization, Tarini Carr, Archaeology Online.

Indus Civilization, R.K. Pruthi, Discovery Publishing House, 2004, s. 157.

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