The anthropomorphic figures of the copper-hoards from India

Tapan Kumar Das Gupta, Verlag Des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz
The anthropomorphic figures of the copper-hoards from India form not one but two groups of objects: 1. smaller objects (type I) made of a thin plate of approx. 0,7 cm with an average weight of approx. 1,26 kg and 2. bigger objects (type II) made of a thick plate of approx. 2 cm with an average weight of ap prox. 4,5 kg. It is to be assumed that they were equipped with a wooden handle. Type I may be used by drovers, and if necessary also as throwing-weapon against wild animals, cattle-stealer,
more » ... , cattle-stealer, as well as against enemies. The formation of the type II happened later for practical necessity, and it served no longer as a throwingweapon. The anthropomorphic figures are neither the images of the Vedic God Indra, nor they have anything to do with a prehistoric mother-goddess; they are remains of the Vedic Vajra. Such Vajras are to be recognized in reliefs of Sāñci and Nāgārjunakon.d. a. The Vedic Vajra was a real weapon, later its function as such got lost. However, it still remained in religious ideas as a mythical weapon, and as Śrīvatsa, a sign of good fortune, in the memory of the Indians. In order to determine the origin of the copper-hoards, one should distinguish between users and manufacturers of these objects. They were used likely by the Vedic Indians. The fragment from Lothal, the representation of a fish on an anthropomorphic figure, and other signs on these objects could indicate that the copper-hoards were produced by descendants or immigrants from the Indus Valley.
doi:10.11588/jrgzm.2009.1.16568 fatcat:vlemgic4qza6hil2tbdm6em24m