Indus Art


The Indus Art can be divided into six major categories. Seals were the most important items in Indus art. Most of them were square in shape but few were also in round or cylindrical shape. The seals were engraved or embossed and some of them had handles and holes in them. They also contained pictures of animals and the most common among them was that of unicorn animal. Then there were Grotesque type of seals like face of man, trunk and tusk of elephant, horns of an ox and tail of lion with Indus script written on some of them. On some seals was found a picture of a three-faced person in sitting posture with so many animals standing in reverence before him. It is believed that such seals were used for either trade or special occasions of religious significance.

Sculptures were also made in that era. Two sculptures were found in Harappa and eleven in Moenjodaro. These were incomplete and rough sculptures, made of stone, without any mould. Most of them were of human beings or may be of gods. Mother goddess was found at various places probably to symbolize prosperity. Another 7½ inches sculpture was of a priest king. Some sculptures of bronze and copper were also found, for example, a dancing girl, made of bronze, and a copper-and-bronze bull cart.

Pottery of Indus civilization was mainly in pink color with designs (though not so beautiful) consisting of lines, trefoils, leaves, cross matching and comb designs. Red and black colors were also frequently used and the pieces were decorated with other colors. Human figures on the pottery were rare, though there were some in crude shape. The unique feature of the Indus art was the terra cotta (baked clay) objects. It wasn’t found anywhere else. Most of the terra cotta cakes were in triangular form. The major objects made of this technique comprised mother goddess, animal figures, cart models, skin rubber and oxen whose head and wheel could move.

Weapons were also found from the remains. They were used basically for non-military domestic activities. Common among them were small stone knives and axes in crude form. Copper and bronze were rarely used. In these areas for the first time Aryans brought their own weapons with them.

Different kinds of ornaments were made at that time. Among them bracelets, earrings, anklets and necklaces were very common. Some of the items were made of silver, gold and shells. A precious blue stone ‘Lapis Lazuli’ is supposed to be imported from Afghanistan for verily it is available neither in India nor in Pakistan.

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005