[INDOLOGY] sculpture 3000bce to 1500ce

Stefan Baums baums at lmu.de
Tue Jun 4 08:15:22 UTC 2019

Dear Patrick,

Rich already mentioned the illustrated wrestlers’ weight in the
Peshawar Museum (findspot unknown, but somewhere in Gandhāra).

Quite a large number of wrestlers’ weights have actually been
found, in India (especially the Mathura area) as well as Nepal and
Pakistan. Many of these are illustrated with wrestling and/or
mythological scenes. For an interesting inscribed one from
Mathura, illustrating two scenes from the Kṛṣṇa legend, see pp.
163–164 in

   Stanislaw J. Czuma. 1985. Kushan Sculpture: Images from Early
   India. Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Brāhmī inscription (printed upside down in Czuma) reads


(the reading in Czuma is also a little off). Note that the name
element ‐phara‐ appears to be Iranian and thus provides a
connection to the northwest. Also, several weights made from
Mathura sandstone were found in Gandhāra, possibly left behind by
wrestlers who had travelled for a competition.

For a good overview and bibliography of such wrestlers’ weights

   Angelo Andrea di Castro. 2007. Of Handles and Names: Remarks on
   Wrestlers’ Weights. East and West 57, 367–376.

All best,

Stefan Baums, Ph.D.
Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität München

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