50. A Terracotta Drinking Vessel

Indus Valley, 3rd millennium BC
Size: 19 cm high

Download PDF

This strikingly simple representation of a long-horned bull’s head is as effective in what it transmits as Picasso’s bicycle-seat and handlebars. The main difference is in the humour of the latter that comes from the materials used. Of course, it is difficult to decipher the sense of humour of 5,000 years ago, and for all we know, those who drank from this cup may have been equally amused by its wit.

A thermoluminescence analysis report (N100a80) from Oxford Authentication Ltd is available.