Durga Near Ghazni – A “Buddhist” Representation Afghanistan’s Hindu Past – Arte-Facts #10

Further art and artefact representation for Vijayadashami - a fragmentary Durga MahishasuraMardini depiction from Tapa Sardar in modern-day Afghanistan near Ghazni; then part of Zabul. Even though most of the statue is now missing (all that is blue or green in the reconstruction), it's still impressive! Especially considering that head, alone, is about 64 cm … Continue reading Durga Near Ghazni – A “Buddhist” Representation Afghanistan’s Hindu Past – Arte-Facts #10

On Pausanias At Plataea And Dost Mohammed In Afghanistan – The Recurrence Of The Incomprehensibility Of Imperial Over-Extension

I'm writing something atm that's tangentially to do with the First Anglo-Afghan War; and in the course of my research, happened across this quote from the eventual victor of the conflict, Dost Mohammed: He said of the British - "I have been struck by the magnitude of your resources, your ships, your arsenals, but what … Continue reading On Pausanias At Plataea And Dost Mohammed In Afghanistan – The Recurrence Of The Incomprehensibility Of Imperial Over-Extension

Yama Iamso Coin of the Kushans, And What This Means For Central Asian Indo-European Religion – Arte-Facts #7

I've had this coin in my head for some days now - a golden coin of the Kushan king Huviska (who appears on the obverse), featuring what appears to be Yama on the deity side. Why? Because of the iconography with which Yama - here hailed as 'Iamso' - is displayed. He's holding a Spear … Continue reading Yama Iamso Coin of the Kushans, And What This Means For Central Asian Indo-European Religion – Arte-Facts #7

Ancient Aryan Meath & Modern Afghani Meth – A Remembrance?

I found this rather ... disconcerting, because it is arguably an instance of #NAS meme magic in action. You see, many years ago now, when I was getting interested in Indo-European ethnobotany, I happened across the academic debate over the identity of Soma. Which - to my mind at least - has now been solved … Continue reading Ancient Aryan Meath & Modern Afghani Meth – A Remembrance?

Votive Plate of Cybele, Great Goddess, Mountain Mother – Arte-Facts #5

This Is #GangSteppe - and also, fine Devi-otional (A)Art(I) for Friday ! Depicted is Goddess Cybele on an offering-plate, from 3rd century B.C. Ai-Khanoum, amidst the ruins of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Now, I find this artefact fascinating for quite a number of reasons. Not simply because of the various iconographic features upon it which come … Continue reading Votive Plate of Cybele, Great Goddess, Mountain Mother – Arte-Facts #5

“MY HAT IS AN ELEPHANT – YOUR SOVEREIGNTY IS INVALID” – A Gandharan Coin of Demetrius I – Arte-Facts #4

Coin of the Indo-Greek ruler Demetrios I, from the first decade of the 2nd century B.C. The Elephant has long been considered a potent symbol of sovereignty and royal, even imperial power within the Indian/Dharmic iconographic lexicon. Hence, in part, why Lord Indra rides one [Airavata - 'Storm Cloud' ... the other major reason being … Continue reading “MY HAT IS AN ELEPHANT – YOUR SOVEREIGNTY IS INVALID” – A Gandharan Coin of Demetrius I – Arte-Facts #4

The “Buddhist” Coin Of Tilya Tepe – Arte-Facts #3

I've had this coin in my head for awhile now - and it seemed rather appropriate to post for a Wednesday. It's another of the artefacts from the justifiably famed Tilya Tepe burial-site in northern Afghanistan; a roughly two millennia old set of seven graves that are likely of Scythian origin, rediscovered in 1978. But … Continue reading The “Buddhist” Coin Of Tilya Tepe – Arte-Facts #3

THE GUARDIANSHIP OF THE GOLD – The Heroic Tale of the Hiranya-Hoard of Tillya Tepe

Earlier this week, I posted a fine piece of jewelry, likely Scythian in origin, and featuring two dragons being clasped about the forelegs by a male figure garbed as an Indo-European #GangSteppe figure. It came from the so-called "Bactrian Gold" discovered at a set of tombs in northern Afghanistan by a team of Soviet archaeologists in 1978. … Continue reading THE GUARDIANSHIP OF THE GOLD – The Heroic Tale of the Hiranya-Hoard of Tillya Tepe

Skanda in Kushan [Afghani Arte-Facts Posting #2]

This Is #GangSteppe - a fine 2nd century AD Kushan depiction of Lord Skanda, from Gandhara in present-day Afghanistan/Pakistan. Something I find pretty cool about this particular rendering, is that the well-known Hindu deity has been presented in a manner that doesn't simply 'update' the features of the representation to be more in-line with Kushan mores and … Continue reading Skanda in Kushan [Afghani Arte-Facts Posting #2]