Horses/Indus seals

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sun May 17 14:17:22 UTC 1998

At 22:50 16.05.98 -0400, you wrote:
>On Thu, 7 May 1998, Georg von Simson wrote:
>> does not the absence of the horse among the animals of the figurative
>> tradition of that culture mean anything to you?
>It has been pointed out that the cow is not represented on the seals
>either, although the bull is ubiquitous and cow bones have been found in
>large quantities. Nor is the camel represented figuratively despite camel
>bones also being found.  Likewise with the onager and perhaps other
>animals as well. Accordingly, the animals represented on the seals do not
>exhaust the zoological diversity of the IVC.  Regards,  Edwin  Bryant.

I believe the point here is that the horse plays a central role in
Indo-European ritual, which is why we would expect to find it on the seals.
The reason why the bull is frequently represented on the seals may be that
it played a role in the Indus culture which it didn't play in Indo-European
culture. The camel may have played no significant part in the culture apart
from performing menial work.

But it goes without saying that all such interpretations are uncertain. We
simply do not have enough data to state emphatically that things are in a
certain way.

Lars Martin Fosse Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo

Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at
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