Chennai

‘Terracotta plaque probably depicting Gitopadesham’

A terracotta plaque purportedly dating between 2,300 and 3,600 BCE, in the possesion of a Hong Kong-based art dealer, is likely to be a representation of Krishna and Arjuna during the Mahabharatha war, says Nanditha Krishna, director, CPR Institute of Indological Research..

The 9-cm-wide terracotta plaque is with Jeremy Pine, an art dealer in Hong Kong, who reportedly bought the plaque many years ago in Nepal, Dr. Nanditha said.

According to her, Mr. Pine had sent the tablet for testing at Oxford Authentication, that has dated the plaque to 2,300 to 3,600 years ago.

The sample was subjected to thermoluminescence testing, she said.

Dr. Nanditha also showed a photograph of the relic and the certificate issued by Oxford Authentication, that is with Mr. Pine, who contacted her to find out the interpretation of the scene on the tablet.

‘Earliest portrayal’

The tablet depicts a person holding four horses, while another person points a hand straight ahead. She said the plaque is likely to be representing Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield. If the two figures are Krishna and Arjuna, this would be the earliest available portrayal of the Gitopadesham scene from the Bhagavad Gita, going back to about 1,000 BCE.

According to her, based on the results of the test, it corresponds to the late Indus Valley Culture (1500 BCE) and the historical period (600 BCE), a period known as the Painted Grey Ware Culture — an Iron Age culture in North India, lasting roughly from 1,200 to 600 BCE.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 3:48:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/terracotta-plaque-probably-depicting-gitopadesham/article29684512.ece

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