Friday, November 7, 2014

The Lady of the Spiked Throne, A Mysterious Artefact of Indus civilization

The Lady of the Spiked Throne
The mysterious artefact from the Indus Saraswati civilization which dates back to 2700 BC is very complex and unique artefact which is called `The lady of the spiked throne’.Records with regards to the objects’ archaeological context, makes it difficult to determine the true origin and the purpose of its existence.

The artefact was first researched by Massimo Vidale, an Italian archaeologist to accidently discovered it. He had been invited by a private collector to identify the item in 2009 and found that the relic was unique though puzzling.

This urged him to research it further and make an extensive study, and write about the artefact which was very significant and share the same with the others. He also carried out a thermo luminescence test to ensure that the same was not a fake piece of art and the analysis confirmed that the piece was authenticand a very ancient artefact.

The artefact depicts a vehicle of some type having a bull’s head at the front, accommodating around 15 people, in what seems to be an official procession while at the back of the vehicle a woman is seen seated on a spiked throne and is guarded by four men.

Women in Position of Power

The Lady of the Spiked Throne 1
Photo credit: Federica Aghadian
It portrays a woman in a position of power on the spiked throne and she together with her crew have unusual features which include large almond shaped eyes, elongated heads or it could be headdresses with beak shaped nose.

With the absence of any information pertaining to the artefacts’ provenance as well as archaeological content has made it more intriguing and difficult to determine its known origin and purpose. According to Vidale in his report – `The Lady of the Spiked Throne: The Power of a Lost Ritual’, has referred the artefact informally as a cow boat though he acknowledges that it can also be a chariot or a cart.

He explains that this is made complicated by the fact that `a boat would be without oars, keel and helm while the cart without wheels and oddly soldered to its draught animals’.

 He states that if the vehicle seems to be a chariot, represented as a supernatural hybrid between animal and cart, then it could be the earliest evidence of the `monumental chariots in the Hindu traditions that moved major divinities on the occasion of important religious festive ceremonies.

Representation of the Indus Valley Era

Bull Head
Photo credit: Federica Aghadian
The bull towards the front of the chariot is one of the most impressive representations of the Indus Valley era while the forehead of the animal has a solar symbol which is a thick, small circle filled will a big dot with its rays extending outwards.

The most amazing feature of the boat or chariot is the crew who are placed in an alternate row of men and women and is headed by two standing female figurines while the men have a type of a turban with short conical gown.

The women who seem to be larger are placed on a higher stool look to be semi-nude and are distinguished by their high foreheads and a tall, flat headdress. Vidale states further that the `flat head, long beak like nose together with round eyes drawn together portrays the female figurines as unnatural when compared to the more realistic feature of the males.

Moreover, the eyes are also in the form of deep hemispherical cavities with slightly raised edges which could probably be filled with a blackish substance or pigment

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