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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Figurines of the Indus Civilization (c.2600–1900 BC) provide unique insights into technological, social, and ideological aspects of this early urban society. The Indus script has not yet been deciphered, so figurines provide one of the most direct means to understand social diversity through ornament and dress styles, gender depictions, and various ritual traditions. This chapter focuses on figurines from the site of Harappa, Pakistan, with comparative examples from other sites excavated in both India and Pakistan. Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic terracotta figurines, and special forms with moveable components or representing composite or fantastic creatures, are found at most sites of the Indus Civilization, with rare examples of figurines made of bronze, stone, faience, or shell. The raw materials and technologies used to make figurines are discussed, along with the archaeological contexts in which they have been discovered. These figurines provide an important line of evidence regarding Indus society and religion.

Keywords: terracotta, figurines, Indus Civilization, Pakistan, India, Harappa, gender, religion

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