PAPERS OF THE PEABODY MUSEUM
Cover: The Social Lives of Figurines: Recontextualizing the Third-Millennium-BC Terracotta Figurines from Harappa, from Harvard University PressCover: The Social Lives of Figurines in MIXED MEDIA

Papers of the Peabody Museum 86

The Social Lives of Figurines

Recontextualizing the Third-Millennium-BC Terracotta Figurines from Harappa

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Product Details

MIXED MEDIA

$85.00 • £62.95 • €76.50

ISBN 9780873652155

Publication: February 2017

Text

362 pages

7-3/4 X 10-5/8 inches

789 color illustrations, 10 line illustrations, 3 maps, 13 tables, includes CD-ROM.

Peabody Museum Press > Papers of the Peabody Museum

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After more than eighty years of international research on the Indus Civilization, this geographically extensive ancient society remains deeply enigmatic. With no known monumental art or deciphered texts, the largest category of representational art recovered from many Indus sites is terracotta figurines. In this detailed research report, archaeologist Sharri R. Clark examines and recontextualizes a rich and diverse corpus of hundreds of figurines from the urban site of Harappa (ca. 3300–1700 BC) to reveal new information about Indus ideology and society. The hand-modeled figurines—including anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, fantastic creatures such as unicorns, and special forms with wheels or movable parts—served as a medium of communication and exchange that reflects underlying structures of Indus society and cultural change. The author focuses on the figurines as artifacts whose “social lives” can be at least partially reconstructed through systematic analysis of stylistic and technological attributes and spatial and temporal contexts. Comparisons with ethnographic data, historic texts, and contemporaneous ancient societies enrich and inform the groundbreaking interpretations. Lavishly illustrated, the volume includes an extensive database on disk.