24. A Mother-Goddess Riding Out

Indus Valley, 3rd millennium BC 
Size: 15 cm high
Bronze, lost-wax casting

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She has had her hair extravagantly done up for the ride. Apart from their rarity, the early bronze plaques, of which this is a fine example, provide the first known representations of domesticated horses. They contradict the generally held view that horses were only introduced into India a thousand years later by Indo-Aryan peoples from further north. This goddess, however, preferred to ride out on her Bactrian camel. It is, of course, impossible to exaggerate the importance of the Bactrian camel, the rolling stock without which the arteries of trade could not have functioned.