4th century BC gold ornaments of Taxila on display at National Museum

The collection encourages visitors to imagine how the art of the adornment was perfected in the ancient times.
4th century BC gold ornaments of Taxila on display at National Museum

NEW DELHI : In a rare show, gold ornaments dating to the 4th century BCE- 1st century CE and discovered in the ancient city of Taxila in northwestern Pakistan are on display at the National Museum.

The collection of 25 rare and finest pieces includes a gold bead necklace, hairpin, and earrings and is part of the Museum’s reserve. The exhibition is until July 31.

These articles, found during excavations at two archaeological sites—Bhir Mound and Sirkap, carry the weight of history. They were unearthed by the English archaeologist, John Marshall, who was the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), between 1913 and 1934. The use of gold sheet and encrustation techniques with gems such as garnet, rock crystal, turquoise, and carnelian chalcedony make these artefacts a testament to the brilliance of ancient craftsmanship.“Hiraṇmaya extrapolates the presence of gold which laces every artefact in the exhibition.The ornaments are part of the gold trove unearthed during the extensive excavation at the city sites of Taxila by John Marshall,” said museum officials.

The collection encourages visitors to imagine how the art of the adornment was perfected in the ancient times. The other highlights of the exhibition are two pendants, neck pieces with lapis lazuli and two amulets with swastika design.

“Although found featured in many ancient cultures across the world, the motif of swastika and always enjoyed a special place in the visual lexicon of the Indian subcontinent, dating centuries before these specimens...The ornaments elucidate art and design of that period.”

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