figure (ritual & belief: representations)

Gandharan, terracotta figure of a horse. The figure is broken and has no legs.

A horse figurine, in coarse red terracotta with traces of a dark red slip. The front legs are lost as well as the entire hindquarters. The horse has a high prominent mane over an energetically arched neck. The eyes are punched pinholes, the mouth a plain slit in a blunt muzzle. The ears appear to be luted on and they frame what seems to be a short fan-like projection at the top of the head. There is every likelihood that this horse may have had a rider in the usual way of such figurines (see nn17497 here for a similar horse and nn3707.1 for a possible rider for them). Marked on the underside with ‘PH’, a Gordon site designation not at this time clearly identifiable. The ‘Map of Western Gandhara’ accompanying this collection shows that there is a site called ‘Parkho Dheri’, in the hill region pierced by the Mardan-Malakand road, but there is no reason to think that PH and this site are one and the same. Archaeological context: presumably unstratified and from a surface collection. Early Historic Period, probably late centuries BCE/early centuries CE. Given by Col. D H Gordon (1952/3).

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