Harappan art 2500 1800 BC

  • Also known as the bronze age
  • Architecture refers to designing of and construction of buildings where are the sculpture is a three-dimensional work of art
  • In architecture ,various types of materials are used that is a stone , wood, glass, metal  etc .where as sculpture is made of single piece of material.
  • Architecture involves study of engineering And Engineering Mathematics and depends upon measurements, where as sculpture involves creativity and imagination , may not depend on measurements.


  • Are a square or rectangular or circular or triangular piece of material mainly stone with an average size of 2”x2” .dominantly square seals were found on them ,we find pictographic scripts along with animal Impressions which are yet to be deciphered.
  • Seals are made up of steatite (a river soft stone ) . Evidences of Copper Gold and Ivory seals has also been found in some instances
  • 5 signs or symbols on an average are present on a seal
  • Direction of writing is right to left
  • Seals are decorated with animal motif such as Unicorn bull , rhinoceros ,tiger ,elephant, goat, buffalo, etc (except cow)
  • Inscription of human figure are present on both side of the seals,even in some cases they are present on all 3 sides.

Significance /purpose of seal

  • mainly used as unit of trade and Commerce
  • Also used as amulets for productive and spiritual purpose(mainly Copper),dead bodies found had a hole for wearing them
  • Also used as an educational tool
  • Example Pashupati seals and Unicorn seals

II -Terracotta figures (sculptures)

  • Terracotta are fired baked clay
  • These figures are handmade using punching methods
  • For example mother goddess ,toys cards with wheels, birds and animals etc

III-Bronze sculptures

  • Bronze casting was practised on a wide scale under Harappan art
  • The technique used for Casting is known as “lost wax technique”
  • Under this technique at first wax figures are covered with a coating of clay and allowed to dry. Then it is heated and molten wax is allowed to drain out through a tiny hole at the bottom of the clay cover .the hollow mould is then filled with bronze or any other metal . Once the metal is cooled the clay is removed
  • Evacuations where it was prominent
  1. Kalibangan presently Rajasthan
  2. Daimabad presently Maharashtra
  3. Harappa

Example -Bronze dancing girl

It is a naked girl wearing only ornaments which include bangles , armlets  & necklace the left hand is on the hip. It is made using lost wax technique

Others stone sculpture

  • Bearded priest
  • Male torso (red sandstone)


  • Red and black pottery(painted pottery)
  • It consists of mainly wheel made wares. Very few are handmade
  • The more common is plain pottery
  • Under red and black pottery red colour was used to paint the background and black colour to draw design of trees, birds, animals, human figures and other geometrical patterns

Uses of pottery

  • For household purpose (storage of water ,food grains )
  • For decoration -miniature vessel used for decoration
  • Used for perforated pottery
  • Large hole at the bottom and small holes all over the wall and was probably used for straining liquor .


  • They are made up of a large variety of material ranging from precious metals, gemstones, bone and even baked clay
  • Necklace armlets and finger rings were common and worn by both males and females .while women wore a earings and anklets evidences of dead bodies Burried along with ornaments have also been found.
  • Harrapans were also conscious of fashion ( as different hairstyles ,wearing of a beard etc have been found
  • Cinnabar was used as a Cosmetic lipstick, Face paints and even eyeliner were also known to them.
  • Spinning of cotton and wool was common among Harappan


  • Houses were build of baked bricks, of fixed size.
  • Use of stone and wood in building has also been found
  • The concept of two storied houses were also present
  • Public Bath was a common feature example great bath at Mohenjo Daro ,it had galleries and rooms on all sides.
  • Granaries was another important creation which used to be located in Citadel .there construction was so intelligent that strategic conduct and platform can be found.
  • Drainage system of Harappa was note worthy .there was a temporary cover to drains,underground
  • Roads use to cut at right angles


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