[INDOLOGY] INDOLOGY Digest, Vol 33, Issue 28

Piotr Balcerowicz p.balcerowicz at uw.edu.pl
Sat Oct 31 16:23:30 UTC 2015

Dear Colleagues,
Thank you so much for your feedback.
I should provide some additional explanation concerning the copper plate: 
A few days back I happened to be a witness to a transaction when a villager from the vicinity of Peshawar contacted a local antique dealer and sold him the copper plate (for approx. 20 USD). The villager did not reveal where he found the copper plate but from what I understood the place is somewhere between Peshawar and Swat. 
Being a witness and knowing that the copper plate will sooner or later circulate in the black market and may never be available to researcher, I asked them to provide me with a photograph of it. All the means that the plate couldn’t have been published anywhere before because it seems to be the new found (discovered about a month ago or so) as a result of rampant illegal excavations in the Af-Pak region. I cannot say where the copper plate is now. It is indeed quite surprising to learn that the copper plate originated from Yemen and reached the areas near Peshawar. Knowing that the villager brought the plate to the dealer, it is unlikely that it transpired in Pakistan as a result of modern illegal antique trade. 
My intention to circulate the photo via Indology List was to make it available to researchers: since we cannot have the material object any more, at least there is the photograph of it. 
Best regards,
Piotr Balcerowicz
>From : 	Richard Salomon <rsalomon at u.washington.edu>
Subject : 	[INDOLOGY] Fwd: Re: copper plate
To : 	indology at list.indology.info, Michael Macdonald <michael.macdonald at orinst.ox.ac.uk>, mcskin at u.washington.edu, Jason Neelis <jneelis at wlu.ca>, Robin Dushman <r-rdushman at comcast.net>, Norbert Nebes <Norbert.Nebes at uni-jena.de>
Fri, 30 Oct, 2015 20:01

Here is some authoritative information about the copper plate (reportedly) from Peshawar, provided by Professor Dr Norbert Nebes of the University of Jena, forwarded by M. Macdonald of Oxford:

"As far as I am aware  the fragment of the bronze plaque is unknown and has not been published yet. It comes from the sanctuary  QDMN of Ta'lab Riyam  which is  situated in Damhan, the ancient name of the present day al-Huqqa in the northern highlands of Yemen (about 20 km in the north of Sanaa).  Without any doubt,  it is a votive text probably dedicated by a female person. The text (Middle Sabaic, from the early centuries AD) also contains two or three interesting words."

[Prof. Nebes wishes it to be noted that "the information is not intended for the art market resp. for persons who are involved in this metier (in any way)."]

So my previous guess about the dating was way off -- please disregard it. The correct date proposed by Prof. Nebes, i.e. "the early centuries AD," makes a little more sense, in that this is the period when Peshawar (ancient Purusapura) was something of a metropolis. But it is still very surprising that this object from such a remote location should be found there. Of course it is possible that it was brought to Pakistan in modern times, but this seems hardly likely. If this really is what it seems, it might be somehow be a by-product of the widespread international sea and land trade between India and the west in the period concerned.

Rich Salomon

    -------- Forwarded Message --------
    Subject: 	[INDOLOGY] copper plate
    Date: 	Thu, 29 Oct 2015 13:48:45 +0100 (CET)
    From: 	Piotr Balcerowicz <p.balcerowicz at uw.edu.pl>
    To: 	indology at list.indology.info

    Dear Colleagues,
    Attached is a photograph of a copper plate found near Peshawar. Exact location of the fund is unknown. I thought this might be of some interested to some of you. If anyone can say more about the contents of the copper plate and its possible date, it’ll be appreciated. 
    Piotr Balcerowicz

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