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Pre-History & Archaeology

Climbing Monkey

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Climbing Monkey
C. 2500 B.C.

Place of origin: Harappa
Materials: Terracotta
Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 4 cm
Acc. No. 11625/216

One of the most outstanding features of Harappan potter, or rather Harappan people, was their exceptional love for nature seeking its expression in artefacts replicating animals, wild or domestic in his medium which was essentially clay scope for representing its other forms, trees plants, mountains... being nil. He seems to have been extra-sensitive, caring, emotional and a child-like curious when moulding his clay to discover in it the form of an animal, no matter even if it is a fierce rhino or wild bull. More than the realism of its body he would discover in it its mind, its basic nature and a body-posture that suits it. This tiny terracotta figurine not only portrays a form, a monkey, but also a monkey's mind, naughty and mischievous like a child.

Realistic as regards its form and nature, the figurine represents a monkey as climbing upwards firmly holding in its hands a thin pole, obviously suggestive of a tree-branch. Maybe, the pole is a post-restoration replacement of the tree-branch. In any case more important is the posture of the animal, the firmness of grip of the hands and feet and the posture of face looking carefree away into a different direction. The position of arms, legs, tail and neck is very realistically portrayed. The hair on the body, face and spinal column are shown by incised lines. The potter's use of some sophisticated tool for carving details is quite obvious. The figurine has a hole between the joined hands and legs to allow him to move up and down along the pole. The end of the tail of the figurine is turned down.

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Climbing Monkey
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Weight(s) and Measurements
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