23. Terracotta Male Figurine

Mehrgarh, c. 3000–2500 BC 
Size: 10.5 cm high

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The great majority of the figurines from Mehrgarh are female, so this male represents something of an anomaly. His hair, carefully combed and probably perfumed, retains some of its black pigment, and is bound by a stylish turban. The traces of yellow pigment around the neck indicate that his eight-strand necklace and pendant are of gold. Otherwise he is stark naked. Speculating on the possible reasons for depositing such an ex-voto, one is led to conclude that it commemorates a spiritually uplifting encounter with one of the girls at the temple, for which he had presented himself at his most elegant.