Featured A rare and favourite artefact from the cradle of civilisation - Indus Civilisation

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Loong Siew, May 1, 2019.

  1. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    Steatite Seal. Indus Valley Civilisation. Harappa. Northern India-Pakistan. Circa 2600-1900 BCE.
    20190424_105852.jpg

    Featuring a sacred bull common among Harappan iconology. Undeciphered Harappan script on the top. I took a light plaster imprint of the seal to avoid damage or flaking of the surface due to thousands of years of exposure and the soft material that is Steatite. nonetheless a remarkably well preserved seal with full details intact.

    Despite efforts of archeologists and scholars, no one in the world to date is able to decipher the various obscure pictographs found on these seals. Nonetheless they appear prominently on excavated artefacts and often depict common thematic pictures such as the a sacred Bull or unicorn, 3 headed beasts, elephants and human figures in seated meditative posts. Given the soft composite of steatite or "soap stone" many seals reveal traces of damage of breaks.
    1280px-IndusValleySeals.JPG.jpg
    British Museum. source:wikipedia


    The Bronze Age Indus civilisation of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro rivals in age and advancement to the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilisations that emerged independently of each other during the dawn of civilisation. Excavations on the site of the Indus civilisation suggested a culture with advanced urbanisation and achievements in mathematics, writing system and measurement sciences.

    1280px-IVC-major-sites-2.jpg

    1280px-View_of_Granary_and_Great_Hall_on_Mound_F.JPG.jpg
    source: wikipedia

    A thriving civilisation with amenities considered advanced for its age such as brick houses, baths, water supply and elaborate drainage systems, the Harappa and Sister Mohenjo Daro civilisation was expected to house close to tens of thousands of people. Spanning 2 millennia, the cities were suddenly abandoned with no obvious signs of destruction from war or conquest. Theories suggest famine, climate changes or simply the diversion of the river which formed their source of water.
     
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  3. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Wow, fascinating acquisition. Very cool. Maybe one day someone will translate the script and you'll know what it says.
     
  4. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    @Jwt708 Thanks.. Hopefully one day they find the equivalent Rosetta stone thus allowing the key to deciphering them like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs
     
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  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    FANTASTIC @Loong Siew !!! Very envious of your find. These artifacts are the kind of things that I really enjoy. I really regret that I have not gotten an Indus Valley artifact... yet!

    This always amazed me that a Civilization, INDEPENDENT of the Egyptians and Meopotamians, (and lets not forget CHINESE), civilizations occured almost simultaneously. Curious if there were any communications between them (except for Egyptians and Mesopotamians communicating).

    It will be incredible if and when they begin to decypher those inscriptions! It would be amazing to see and hear the stories!

    Here is my Akkadian Seal, roughly the same time period...

    upload_2019-5-1_9-3-9.png
    Akkadian 2350-2200 BCE Cylinder Seal Buff stone scene hero wresting antelope winged lion Ex J Tabot with SCENE


    Here is my Egyptian Scarab, roughly the same time period...

    upload_2019-5-1_9-5-18.png
    Egypt SCARAB Middle Kingdom 2065-1650 BCE Scarabaeus Sphinx


    Here is one from the Hittites...

    Hittite Steatite Head of a Man Amulet 2nd Millennium BCE 15 x 20 mm Intact front-Side.jpg
    Hittite Steatite Head of a Man Amulet 2nd Millennium BCE 15 x 20 mm Intact front-Side

    And all of ours are dwarved by the find at Gobekli Tepi, dating back to the TENTH MILLENNIUM BCE...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Göbekli_Tepe
     
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  6. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    Amazing specimens you have there @Alegandron .. The beauty about numismatics is that it opens our eyes to seek out such artifacts as well.. they are not that huge to demand a full museum hall and can be easily held and admired at the comfort of one's home..

    I don't have specimens from the Akkadian and Hittites though.. Closest I have is Sumerian and Egyptian..
     
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  7. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Super acquisition! I had no idea that these seals were commercially available.

    If you want to start a real colorful debate, ask an Indian and a European anthropologist whether they think Brahmi is based off of Aramaic, or the Indus Script. I have actually seen pretty convincing arguments in favor of both.

    Added: Gobekli Tepe still has nothing against the animistic totems from the paleolithic era. The oldest uncontested is the "lion man" dated to the 40th millennium BC
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-man

    Most of the "Venus" figurines are similarly between 18,000 - 35,000 years old. IMO, the level of sophistication seen on some of the earliest of these indicates that there are probably even older finds still in the dirt.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  8. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member


    Thanks.. These seals are rarely offered commercially and most are kept in Museums.. I managed to acquire this through my trusted contacts in Pakistan who are friends within the archeological circle there.

    The debate as to which is older never ends. In fact not too long ago they found evidences of an ancient civilisation submerged off the coast of India with artifacts dating more than 10K BCE. You can search on the city of Dwarka which archeologists and historians are trying to link with the mythological home of Krishna.
     
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  9. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    Very interesting thread. These early civilizations have always fascinated me.
     
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  10. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    Thank you.. I have some from Sumerian, Egyptian also
     
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  11. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    I would like to see those as well.
     
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  12. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

  13. coin_nut

    coin_nut Supporter! Supporter

    There are some blokes at zeno.ru who can read those ancient scripts, so maybe give them a try?
     
  14. coinsareus10

    coinsareus10 Active Member

    Great post ,would love to see more.
     
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  15. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Here's my recent acquisition from the indus valley. I had posted it on the ongoing ancient but not a coin post. But I have little to no shame about sharing, so here she is:
    2955F13A-7B9B-40CF-BF63-6BF7DF7FA939.png

    Ancient terracotta from the Indus Valley depicting an ornately attire fertility goddess/idol wearing necklace and headdress dating to roughly 2,000 bce. 68 mm. Very rare type.
     
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  16. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member


    Awesome specimen
     
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  17. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    Thanks
     
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