toy figure; figure (communication artefact)

Terracotta figure of human upper body possibly male. From North West Frontier of India.

A ‘monkey’ figurine in light red terracotta. Its lower body is lost, but its extended pot belly with prominent navel remains and is supported by its hands. The eyes are prominent punched holes set in wide sockets. The back is plain. Monkey figurines are common in early historic period sites and their precise function is unclear, though it is entirely possible that they were simply toys, meant for children of the era. The back is marked in black ink with what seems to be the letters 'Pr', though this is not certain and no site name on Gordon's map of Western Gandhara sites seems to fit this abbreviation, though Pirsabak (site of a major Sikh-Afghan battle in 1823) near Nowshera is the closest. Archaeological context: presumably unstratified and probably from a surface collection. Early Historic Period: circa early centuries CE. Given by Col D H Gordon (1952/3).

Collection Information

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