My earlier publication on the Harappan Seals, Sealings and Copper tablets under this series is already in the hands of the readers. The present book on Harappan terracotta documents rare figurines in the collection of the National Museum, New Delhi.
Beginning with an introduction to the Harappan civilization. The next chapter introduces the Harappan terracottas, its technique of making, colour treatment and method of firing etc. The third chapter describes the male terracotta figurines and the fourth chapter is on female terracotta figurines. The study shows that the female figurines outnumber the male figurines and on this basis it cold be concluded that the Harappan society was matriarchal. The female figurines have thin waists, broad-hips with a loincloth and girdle and are adorned with a series of necklaces and head-ornaments. The over-ornamented female figurines, which were fount at places of worship, were regarded as Mother-goddesses. The subsequent chapters deal with the animal and bird figurines. Among the terracotta animal figurines bull is predominant. The bulls without hump from Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan, the bulls with moveable head from Mohenjodaro and Lothal and unicorns from Chanhudaro are of special attraction. The birds include figurines like man holding a duck, mythical bird with wheel, bird in cage, peacocks and hens, which are of unique artistic value. Under Chapter VI A and VI B are given the list of terracotta from the sites in Pakistan and India respectively.
The text was gone through by Dr. B. L. Nagarch at the very initial stage and later on edited by Dr. S. P. Gupta and Shri O. P. Tandon. The author is grateful to them. The author records his appreciation for the cooperation and assistance received from his colleagues in the National Museum, more particularly to Shri Tejveer Singh for the coloured photographs, Shri Ranjit Banerjee, Layout Artist for typesetting the manuscript and designing the catalogue, Shri Rajesh Gupta, Shri S. K. Bhattacharya, Dy. Keeper, Shri Arun Kumar Singh, Raju Gharai, Raj, Sangam Jatti and Km. Neelam Singh for typing the text and Smt. Pratibha Parashar and her colleagues in the National Museum Library. Discussions with Nayanjot Lahiri, Vidula Jayaswal, B. R. Mani, R. S. Bisht, R. R. Singh Chauhan, Sanjeev Kumar Singh, S. P. Gupta, Alok Tripathi, B. B. Lal, Late Shri Sital Banerjee, Rohini Pandey, D. V. Sharma and Arundhati Banerji added quite a bit to the author's knowledge and he is indebted to them.
The author has also consulted the publications of B. B. Lal, S. P. Gupta, Catherine Jarriage, J. N. Pandey, Vidula Jayaswal, Ian Glover, J. P. Joshi, Amarendra Nath, Nayanjot Lahiri, During-Casper, Kenoyer, Vasant Shinde, M. K. Dhavlikar, Vibha Tripathi, Amy G. Postel, G. L. Possehl, S. R. Rao, Bhuvan Vikram, Hideo Kondo, Shereen Ratnagar and M. L. Nigam and learnt a great deal. He is also beholden to Ian Glover and Mark Newcomer, both retired professors, who had been his teachers at the Institute of Archaeology, London in 1983-84.
Deo Prakash Sharma
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