Indus Valley Terracotta Chalice with Geometric Decoration


A finely painted terracotta chalice from the Indus Valley civilisation. The vessel features a cylindrical stem with a concave base which expands into a wide, flared body and everted rim. The body of the vessel is enriched with a main register of geometric designs. Dark pigmented vertical lines alternative with intersecting undulating lines forming cross shapes. Above the register lies a band of painted dots, encircling the chalice. Thin horizontal lines frame the pattern. A thick band of pigment decorates the lower part of the cup on the stem and the base, as well as at the top, below the rim. A row of zigzagging lines are visible to the inner rim and a further thick band can be seen on the interior. There are some chips to the rim and base of the cup and parts of the paint has faded from age.

Date: Circa 2500-2000 BC
Condition: Fine condition, chips to the rim and slight cracks to the interior. Earthly encrustation is visible to the surface.


SKU: CY-135 Category: Tags: ,

The Indus Valley is a Bronze Age civilization from the Near East, which lasted from 3300 BC to 31 BC. It was one of three early and widespread cradles of civilisation along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It was discovered when engraved seals were found in the Pakistani province of Punjab in 1920-21, first in the ancient city of Harappa and then locations down the Indus River leading to Mohenjo-daro.

Important innovations of the Indus Valley civilisation included standardised weights, measures and seal carving but they were also skilled in a range of techniques including metallurgy and pottery production. Although the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered, it is evident from the urban ruins that there was extensive town planning and an indication of a centralised state. Most of the pottery can be dated back to the Nal culture, which flourished in the north-west region of the Indus Valley. Their terracotta works are characterised by a linear style, a geometric repetition of shapes and lines. Also, animals and plants, rendered in a stylised manner, featured heavily on their creations. In the end, pigments could be added on the decorations, to create beautiful polychromatic vessels.

Weight 351.2 g
Dimensions L 14 x H 10 cm


Pottery and Porcelain

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