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Large Indus Valley Mehrgarh Ceramic "Fertility Goddess"

Central Asia, Pakistan/ Afghanistan, Mehrgarh period (pre-Indus Valley civilization), ca. 2800 to 2600 BCE. A characteristically bird-faced Indus Valley female figurine, positioned in a slight crouch, with her hands extended outward. Incised lines give her a multi-stranded necklace or pectoral but she has no other clothing or physical decoration. Bird-faced figurines like this one are found throughout the region, although their meaning is unclear - most female figures found by largely male archaeologists of the late nineteeth and early twentieth century were immediately given the title "fertility idol," but more recent interpretations suggest that these figures probably had much more nuanced and varied symbolism. She may represent a goddess, a matriarch, or a worshipper, or something else that we cannot even guess. Size: 1" W x 4.5" H (2.5 cm x 11.4 cm)

Condition: Expertly repaired and overpainted at waist. Otherwise in very nice condition, with light deposits.

Provenance: private collection of Dr. Evan Maurer, former Curator of the Minneapolis Art Institute (USA)

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