Gandharan Toilet-Trays: Some Reflections on Chronology

Gandharan Toilet-Trays: Some Reflections on Chronology Abstract A thorough investigation on Gandharan toilet-trays, taking into consideration archaeological, social and religious data along with iconographic, stylistic and technical issues, is still to be done. The following notes are mainly aimed at suggesting a new perspective in the chronology of these fascinating finds, which, according to an apparently unshakable assumption, have been and are still considered as a bridge linking the Hellenistic ( i.e. Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek) period and the threshold of the Kushan epoch. Toilet-trays are commonly thought of as a pre-Gandharan (and pre-Buddhist) chapter in the art of the North-West of the Indian Subcontinent or a preparatory as well as experimental stage (2 nd and 1 st centuries BCE) of Gandharan sculpture in its proper sense (from the 1 st century CE onwards). G. Erdosy’s reconsideration of the archaeological data yielded by J. Marshall’s excavations at Sirkap, and the chronological shift deriving from it, indicate that the picture sketched above might not be the right one: since a major percent of Sirkap toilet-trays is very likely to be dated into the 1 st or even the early 2 nd century CE, we are compelled to re-evaluate their relationship with Gandharan art. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia Brill

Gandharan Toilet-Trays: Some Reflections on Chronology

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Archaeology of Central Asia
ISSN
0929-077X
eISSN
1570-0577
D.O.I.
10.1163/157005711X595167
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract A thorough investigation on Gandharan toilet-trays, taking into consideration archaeological, social and religious data along with iconographic, stylistic and technical issues, is still to be done. The following notes are mainly aimed at suggesting a new perspective in the chronology of these fascinating finds, which, according to an apparently unshakable assumption, have been and are still considered as a bridge linking the Hellenistic ( i.e. Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek) period and the threshold of the Kushan epoch. Toilet-trays are commonly thought of as a pre-Gandharan (and pre-Buddhist) chapter in the art of the North-West of the Indian Subcontinent or a preparatory as well as experimental stage (2 nd and 1 st centuries BCE) of Gandharan sculpture in its proper sense (from the 1 st century CE onwards). G. Erdosy’s reconsideration of the archaeological data yielded by J. Marshall’s excavations at Sirkap, and the chronological shift deriving from it, indicate that the picture sketched above might not be the right one: since a major percent of Sirkap toilet-trays is very likely to be dated into the 1 st or even the early 2 nd century CE, we are compelled to re-evaluate their relationship with Gandharan art.

Journal

Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to SiberiaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: Gandhara; Toilet-trays; Kushan period; Hellenism in Central Asia; Sirkap

References

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