The Great Stupa at Sanchi is an early Buddhist monument first constructed 2nd century BCE. The decorations that adorn this reliquary are symbolic representations of the historical Buddha. The Buddha’s anthropomorphic figure is not seen here, and was not used until the turn of the century. In order to represent the Buddha, the artists at Sanchi employed an iconographic program to symbolize his divine presence. They used symbols such as a Bodhi tree to denote the time of enlightenment, a wheel to symbolize the Buddha’s first sermon, and footprints to show where the Buddha had tred.   

Mauryan architecture in the Barabar Mountains, Grotto of Lomas Rishi, 3rd Century BCE 

Mauryan architecture in the Barabar Mountains, Grotto of Lomas Rishi, 3rd Century BCE 

Yakshi Reliefs from Barhut, 2nd Century BCE

Yakshi Reliefs from Barhut, 2nd Century BCE

Bowl with painted decoration from the Indus Valley Civilization (excavated at Damb Sadaat) c. 2600-1900 BCE

Bowl with painted decoration from the Indus Valley Civilization (excavated at Damb Sadaat) c. 2600-1900 BCE

"Yogi seal" c. 2600-1900 BCE


The fact that the yogi wears a head-dress with curved horns and is surrounded by animals has led to the suggestion that the figure is a prototype for the later Hindu god Shiva in his aspect of Lord of Beasts. 


from Indian Art by Vidya Dehejia, p. 30 

"Yogi seal" c. 2600-1900 BCE

The fact that the yogi wears a head-dress with curved horns and is surrounded by animals has led to the suggestion that the figure is a prototype for the later Hindu god Shiva in his aspect of Lord of Beasts. 

from Indian Art by Vidya Dehejia, p. 30 

Figurine of ‘dancing girl’ from Mohenjodaro, c. 2600-1900 BCENational Museum, New Delhi 

Figurine of ‘dancing girl’ from Mohenjodaro, c. 2600-1900 BCE
National Museum, New Delhi 

Bust of the “priest-king” from Mohenjodaro, c. 2600-1900 BCENational Museum, Karachi

Bust of the “priest-king” from Mohenjodaro, c. 2600-1900 BCE
National Museum, Karachi

Mohenjo Daro site, view of the great bath modern day Pakistan, 2500 - 1600 B.C
The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly present-day Pakistan and northwest India. The Indus Valley is one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoried houses. [wiki]

Mohenjo Daro site, view of the great bath modern day Pakistan, 2500 - 1600 B.C

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly present-day Pakistan and northwest India. The Indus Valley is one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoried houses. [wiki]