Sep 12, 2014
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Terracotta figurine recovered from a site at Charsadda Shaikhan Dheri, Gandhara, Pakistan

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Terracotta figurine recovered from a site at Charsadda Shaikhan Dheri, Gandhara, Pakistan. Made circa 2nd century BCE. Museum number: IS.20A-195. © Victoria and Albert Museum.
Location: Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137, case R, shelf 3.

Original caption reads:

This doll-like clay figurine with hand-modelled features is a mother goddess. Although large numbers of these figures have been found, their purpose remains obscure. We do not know what their ritual function is, but we assume they served in some way as an aid to fertility.

This piece has a tiny head, stick-like arms and impressed breasts. The most striking feature is the large triangular shape, which probably indicates female genitalia, with incised decoration that possibly represents pubic hair.

This particular piece was recovered by Colonel D.H. Gordon from a site at Charsadda Shaikhan Dheri, Gandhara, Pakistan. The V&A purchased it from him in 1951.

This type of head is very similar to others from elsewhere:

© Victoria and Albert Museum

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Article Categories:
1000 BCE - 1 CE · Sculpture · South Asia

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