ART OF INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION

ART OF INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION

(Period: 3500 B.C.  to 2100 B.C.)

INTRODUCTION

The Indus valley civilization developed between 3500 B.C. to 2100 B.C. and flourished on the bank of the river Indus. Two major sites of this civilization along the river were, Harappa in the north and Mohenjo-Daro in the south which is presently situated in Pakistan.

FOUNDER OF CIVILIZATION

This civilization came to notice through archaeological surveys of India as they found fossils, skeletons and statues with other household goods. The inhabitants of these civilizations are linked with other cultures on various grounds, likely:

Kakashkiyai: The people of this community were like Sri Lankans. they used to have the house of limestone.

Equatorial: The people of this kind had very high heads and belonged to the Aryans.

Mongolians: These people were of Mongolian type, long face, short heighten, elongated high and pointed nose. They used to have beards but no moustaches.

The exemplary creative work of civilization can be seen in many artworks: – utensils, seals and statues like

CHARACTERISTICS OF CIVILIZATION

  1. Indus valley culture demonstrates the significance of animals especially bull, as they were necessary for farming and also had religious significance. People worshiped and sacrificed Bulls and its image was often depicted   on seals and was thought possess to power.
  2. The advanced architecture of the Indus river valley contributed to the overall success of the civilization, also in farming and agriculture as complex irrigation canals were built.
  3. There is one figure of seal, sitting in a yoga like position that seemed to represent god.
  4. Indus valley people made small figure of human   using metal and clay. the figure of dancing girl in bronze show that people liked to dance. the dancing girl wears very less clothes but has lots of bangles in her arms and her hair is tied in plait.
  5. The Indus valley people used to make terracotta utensils. These utensils were decorated with dietes, images women figure and geometrical patterns. Mostly the designs have been drawn with black ink on terracotta utensils and smoothed by rubbing further a shining texture is given to the pots and utensils.
  6. The female of this period adorned themselves with ornaments, such as nose pins, bangles, earrings, armlets and bracelets etc. Different styles of hairdo were popular among women. Many things of daily use like hairpins, clips and combs have also been found. Beads are also made of terracotta. some gold and silver ornaments have also been found.
  7. Male used to wear printed shawl.
  8. Even skeletons of some animals such as dog, cow, cat, deer, sheep, and bulls of two types were found and in few places rabbits’ skeletons also found.
  9. Types of seals have been found, mainly used for decoration, trading and also had religious significance.
  10. A clay cart without wheels were also found.

 FAMOUS CITIES

(i) Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa (now in Pakistan)

(ii) Roop Nagar in Punjab

(iii) Lothal in Gujrat

(iv) Kalibangan in Rajasthan

(v) Rangpur now in north Bangladesh

(vi) Alamgirpur (near Meerut 28 km from Delhi)

(vii) Banawali (fatehabad in Haryana)

(viii) Dhaula veera (near Jaipur in Rajasthan)

(ix) Some places in U.P

Description Of Art Works

A. Mother Goddess

B. Dancing girl

C. Bull seal

D. Male torso

E. Earthen jar

MOTHER GODDESS

MEDIUM: TERRACOTTA (BAKED CLAY)

PERIOD: CIRCA  2500 B.C

LOCATION: MOHENJODARO

SIZE: 22X8X5cm

COLLECTION: NATIONAL MUSEUM, NEW DELHI

THEME: A Terracotta idol of the fertility goddess

DESCRIPTION:

It is one of the best reserved large-sized terracotta images representing the mother goddess. The significance of the board pan like attachments on both sides of the hairdo of the head of the goddess is quite unique. The pinched nose and ornamentation are flatly laid on the body and pressed onto the figure. The general folk-art effect in the figure is most interesting.

She is wearing just a loincloth with a girdle, small breasts uncovered, eyes are small balls (pellet)of clay. The sculptor of Mohenjo-Daro was skilled in his art and could create both realistically and stylistically. This sculpture of the mother goddess and various other mother goddesses were worshipped as the bestowers/givers of fertility and prosperity. India is traditionally where more than 80% of its inhabitants are agriculturists who naturally worship Gods and Goddesses of fertility and prosperity. She is perhaps the prototype of the crude idol of one such goddess.

DANCING GIRL

NAME: DANCING GIRL

MEDIUM: BRONZE

PERIOD: CIRCA 2500 B.C

LOCATION: MOHENJODARO

SIZE :10.5X5X2.5 cm (4.1 inches) high

COLLECTION: NATIONAL MUSEUM, NEW DELHI

THEME: A SMALL BRONZE STATUE OF DANCING GIRL

DESCRIPTION:

This is one of the greatest achievements of the artist of Mohen jo-Daro as the master of miniature. The bronze statue of a dancing girl is only four inches high. And yet it speaks volumes of a metal caster’s excellent skills .this world-famous figure shows a female figure standing in a Tribhanga pose as if relaxing after a dance number, with her right hand resting on her lip and the left hand entirely covered by the bangles resting on the left leg forward.

Head is slightly tilted and hair tightened with a ribbon upon the shoulder. Eyes are closed; the neck is decorated with a cowry shell necklace. Her arms and legs look disproportionate maybe for the sake of simplicity. The dark medium of bronze is right for the dark negroid facial features.

The feature does not have actually a resemblance to any particular female face. The lips and nose are thick and elongated, half-closed eyes resemble the limestone bust of a high priest. The physical details of the body are also very little except for the small breast curve waist and bare groin. The female figure of the civilization is believed to be devoted to the power of fertility of women.

MALE TORSO

NAME: MALE TORSO

MEDIUM: TERRACOTTA (red limestone)

PERIOD: CIRCA 2500 B.C

LOCATION: HARAPPA

SIZE :9.2X5.8X3cm

COLLECTION: NATIONAL MUSEUM, NEW DELHI

DESCRIPTION:

The “male torso” is an impressive example of stone carving and handling of three-dimensional volumes at Harappa nearly five thousand years ago. It is surprising that the sculptor of thousands of years ago at Harappa could produce figures as fine as Greek artistry from the 5th century B.C.

The sculpture shows a muscular and robust male in absolutely realistic human details. The chest and stomach are given a perfect shape, giving a feeling of prana/ breath in the rounded belly. If it is seen from behind the roundness of shoulders and hips is incised by the line of the spine in the centre and a deep curve at the waist. There is a hole at the neck wherein the single heads or multiple heads could have been inserted or attached. The drill circles at the shoulders are unexplained and its arms and legs are broken. this study of the body shows the mastery of the sculptor in using this medium.

There is a theory that the figure may have had several heads and arms because the pose of the figure is identical to the pose of shiva the lord of dance created several thousand years later for worship as well as for procession.

BULL SEAL

NAME: BULL SEAL

MEDIUM:  WHITE STONE

PERIOD: CIRCA 2500 B.C

LOCATION: MOHENJODARO

SIZE: 2.5X2.5X1.4 cms

COLLECTION: NATIONAL MUSEUM, NEW DELHI

THEME: Alow relief square seal of a humped bull with engravings on top on a photographic script.

DESCRIPTION:

This zebu/humped bull seal is a fine example of an animal study showing great strength and vigour of this bovine animal. such detailing is a great artistic achievement at such an early date.it is a square seal engraved in a photographic script. Although the iconography can not be properly identified, it is likely that this popular cattle motif is related to the significance of the bull as a fertility and lunar symbol in ascent Mesopotamia.

It could be the leader who stands for their protection and ensures breeding and reproduction or it could just be an animal used to sacrifice/offer to god by a powerful tribe.

The embossed body of the bull is strong with wide curved large horns and a dominant hump, the folds of skin hanging from the neck are incised realistically. The seal made in low relief has all the bodily details from the sharp horns to hardened hoofs carved thoroughly. This bull is perhaps the prototype of shiva’s bull Nandi. seals are another significant aspect of the Hindus art and craft.

They were produced mainly for commercial purposes. These are engraved in a ‘photographic script’ often used as amulets (tavees) carried as modern identity cards. numerous square seals are found engraved with images of animals (wool, rhinoceros, elephant, etc.), fantastic beasts (unicorns)and human or divine figures.

The seals were mostly made of steatite (soft stones found in rivers) with a loop for suspension on the opposite side covered with a mineral called natron and fired to obtain a white surface.

PAINTED EARTHEN WAVE (JAR)

NAME: PAINTED EARTHEN WAVE (JAR)

MEDIUM: TERRACOTTA

LOCATION: MOHAN JO DARO

COLLECTION: NATIONAL MUSEUM, NEW DELHI

DESCRIPTION:

In the excavated remains of the Indus civilization, plain poetry is more commonly found than painted ones. Rare pieces of pottery are painted in several colours have also been found. This big jar was used as a storage jar for grains in Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro period.

This jar is made on a potter’s wheel with skilled hands. after baking it has been painted and decorated with lines, angles, circles and arcs (geometrical patterns). Mostly the designs have been drawn with black colour on terracotta utensils and then smothered by rubbing. after that transparent is coating is given to the jars and spots. on this jar, in particular, is find a circular design in the centre with horizontal lines encircling the whole roundness of the vessel at the top and the bottom of the design.

All pieces of pottery have very simple motifs and forms which indicates that their art had also reached a certain level of abstraction.

The shiny coating of Harrapan pottery is the earliest example of its kind in the ancient world.it is strange that the material they used at that time was of such great quality that even after thousands of years, the shine on them is still intact.