Revisit the archaeological site of Ushkar-Baramullah


The contributor of this article has also looked at the finds of Ushkar, with its marvelous terracotta heads, these heads in its texture and art very closely resemble the traditional art of Ghandhara and not its post period and can be easily dated to a period before 4e century AD as observed by several other archaeologists. The few artifacts derived from this site are housed in the SPS Museum in Srinagar and are described as follows:

(a) one of the terracotta heads illustrates the head of a bodhisattva. The unusually ornamental treatment of the hair in this fragment is remarkable. The fine features, rounded chin, and twisted, dandified locks held back by a side-set beaded netting make the face attractive despite the somewhat weary smile and satisfied facial expression.

(b) the other terracotta head is a shaggy bearded, tight-lipped, furrowed brow and furrowed brow, of this Brahmin ascetic are so remarkably realistic that it would be hard to imagine the artist not did not draw a portrait from nature. The hair is neatly brushed upwards and was probably gathered in a knot at the back of the head, where it was held in place by an ornamental band. The ardent gaze and the prominent cheekbones testify to self-mortification.

This is one of the finest heads found in Ushkar. The oval face, the small nose, the sensitive nostrils, the soft and delicate lips, the rounded plump chin, the hair combed smoothly back and falling in curly braids on the shoulders, are all essentially feminine. She is an upasika, a lay devotee. Her soft, melancholy gaze, intensified by the poise of the upturned face, shows with what feeling of devotion these female worshipers approached the Master.

(d) This illustration depicts the head of a contemplative young monk with a shaven crown, high forehead, arched eyebrows, and large, dreamy eyes. The remarkably tall and narrow skull appears to be the result of lateral pressure, a practice once common among some Central Asian tribes.

The terracotta heads and other artefacts derived from this site are also the earliest evidence of Kashmir carving art, which is highly influenced by the Hellenistic style and these artefacts can be dated to the period between 2n/a century AD to the 4th century AD.


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