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Indus Valley Civilization- Arts

The arts of the IVC can be classified as:

  • Stone Statues

  • Bronze Statues

  • Terracotta Figurines

  • Seals

  • Potteries

  • Beads and Ornaments

Stone Statues

  • Two major stone statues are:

    1. Bearded Man

    2. Male Torso

Bearded Man

Bearded Man, Indus Valley Civilization
Bearded Man
  • Also known as Priest-King

  • Found in Mohenjo-Daro.

  • Made of Steatite.

  • a shawl is coming under the right arm and covering the left shoulder.

  • The shawl is decorated with trefoil pattern.

  • The eyes are elongated and half closed as in a meditation.

  • Nose is well formed and medium size.

  • Short cut moustache and a short beard and whiskers.

  • Hair is parted in the middle and a plain woven fillet is passed round the head.

  • An armlet on the right hand and holes around neck suggest necklace.

Male Torso

Male Torso, Harappa
Male Torso, Harappa
  • Found in Harappa.

  • Made of Red Sandstone.

  • There are socket holes in the neck and shoulders for the attachment of head and arms.

  • Legs are broken.

  • The shoulders are well baked and the abdomen slightly prominent.

Bronze Statues

  • The technique used for Bronze Casting was "Lost Wax Technique'.

  • Examples of Bronze statues are:

    1. Dancing Girl

    2. Bull from Mohenjo-Daro

Dancing Girl

Dancing Girl, Mohenjo-Daro
Dancing Girl, Mohenjo-Daro

  • Found from Mohenjo-Daro.

  • Made up of Bronze.

  • Approximately 4-inch high.

  • It depicts a girl whose long hair is tied in the bun and bangles cover her left arm.

  • Shell necklace is seen around her neck.

  • Her right hand is on her hip and her left hand is clasped in a traditional Indian dance gesture.

  • She has large eyes and flat nose.

Terracotta Figurines

  • Made of baked clay.

  • The most important terracotta figures are those represent 'Mother Goddess'.

Mother Goddess

Mother Goddess
Mother Goddess
  • Mainly found in Mohenjo-Daro.

  • These figures are usually standing figures.

  • Adorned with necklaces hanging over the prominent breast and wearing a loin cloth and a grid.

  • Fan-shaped headdress with a cup like projection on each side.

  • The eyes and beaked nose (nose is slightly bent) of the figure are very crude.

  • Mouth is indicated by a narrow opening.


  • Thousands of seals were discovered from the sites, usually made of steatite and terracotta, with beautiful figures of animals such as unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, buffalo, etc.

  • Their purpose was mainly commercial.

  • They were also used as amulets, carried on the persons of their owners, perhaps as modern identity cards.

  • Every seal is engraved in a pictographic script which is yet to be deciphered.

  • The most important seal is 'Pashupati Mahadeva'.

Pashupati Mahadeva

Pashupati Mahadeva
Pashupati Mahadeva
  • Found in Mohenjo-Daro.

  • The seal depicts a human figure seated cross legged.

  • An elephant and a tiger are depicted to the right side of the figure, while on the left a rhinocer and a buffalo are seen.

  • Two antelopes (deer) are shown below the seat (nearby his feet).

  • The figure has a three horned head.


Red and Black Pottery
  • Indus valley pottery consists of very fine wheel made wares, very few being handmade.

  • Plain pottery is more common than painted ware.

  • Plain pottery is generally red clay.

  • The painted ware has a fine coating of red slip on which geometric and animal designs are executed in glossy black paint. They are usually known as 'red and black pottery'.



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