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Volume 70 Number 4, June 2019

Volume 70 Number 4

Gandhara: A Confluence of Cultures
Edited by: Naman P. Ahuja

Introduction
Naman P. Ahuja

Bronze Age Relationships between Central Asia and the Indus: Archaeology, Language and Genetics
Benjamin Mutin and Henri-Paul Francfort

One Mother, Many Mother Tongues
Naman P. Ahuja

Tope Kelan and the Stupa Cult in Hadda
Wannaporn Kay Rienjang

The Sakra Sites and Their Enigmatic Coins
Waleed Ziad

The Hund Statues: Recent Discoveries between Gandhara and Kashmir
Michael Henss

The Histories in Between: Afghanistan’s Religious and Material Cultures
Alka Patel

Gandhara’s Heritage in Pakistan: Research and Conservation
Abdul Rehman

Book Review

Arts of the Hellenized East: Precious Metalwork and Gems of the Pre-Islamic Era, by Martha L. Carter et al.
Naman P. Ahuja

Inside front cover and pages 1–7: Thematic ad-portfolio on War Rugs
Naman P. Ahuja

Thematic Ad-Portfolio: War Rugs
Ahuja, Naman P.
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 1–7

War rugs first made their way into India in the 1980s when Kashmiri carpet-sellers started bringing them over from Balochistan and Peshawar. This write-up and the accompanying images look into these unique cultural products that emerged in war-torn Afghanistan and Pakistan to cater to Western troops and members of international organizations stationed there. Bringing together elements from traditional carpet designs and modern-day war imagery like drones, tanks and guns, these "collectors' items" throw larger light on the irony of a market that both sustains a community even as it depicts the tools of their destruction, and the public’s easy consumption of horror and violence through art.

Editorial Note
Gupta, Latika
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, p. 10

The Associate Editor introduces Marg's first dedicated issue on the Gandhara region’s art and archaeology and places it in the context of older articles published on the subject. She also explains the rationale behind the structure of the magazine and how a special selection of artefacts and masterpieces serve as bridges between essays while representing various phases of Gandharan history, migrations and the coming together of a rich variety of cultural influences. A separate note at the end highlights the significance of the rhyton featured on the cover.

Introduction
Ahuja, Naman P.
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 12–13

Gandhara has, over the centuries, been home to several migrant communities who brought with them ideas, objects and customs that enriched the overall culture of the region. From nomadic shamanistic societies, to Zoroastrian and Vedic cultures and later Buddhist, Hellenistic and Islamic influences, this introduction lays out Gandhara's older history of cosmopolitanism. In today's political context when the region is fraught with divisive forces and violence, it is important to revisit the past and reclaim a different identity for this land.

Bronze Age Relationships between Central Asia and the Indus: Archaeology, Language and Genetics
Mutin, Benjamin and Francfort, Henri-Paul
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 14-25

This essay provides an overview of communities, cultures and migrations, around and across the Hindu Kush, during the Bronze Age period. These relationships are studied through objects, raw materials and patterns found in a range of sites, particularly those belonging to the Indus and the Oxus Civilizations. Besides examining archaeological evidence, there is reference to recent DNA analyses, and the open question of the spread of the Indo-Iranian languages. The writers suggest that interactions between Central Asia and the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent were part of a varied, protracted and continuous process that had started millennia before. They also highlight the difficulties of carrying out fresh research in these regions, due to the fraught nature of current-day geopolitics.

One Mother, Many Mother Tongues
Ahuja, Naman P.
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 28-46

Through a detailed study of a 2nd-3rd century AD Kushan-period Hariti and the children that surround her, this essay looks at the numerous religious ideas and cults that came to be consolidated in this significant sculpture from ancient Gandhara. It shows how a powerful ogress was transformed into a benevolent mother goddess, and made room for a variety of figures from Hindu, Buddhist, Hellenistic and Zoroastrian myths: Priyankara, Harpocrates, Karttikeya, the Dioscuri, the Wrestling Twins and the Phoenician Temple Boy. Hariti thus symbolizes an early form of cosmopolitanism that emerged in Gandhara through an intermingling of the different communities that migrated to this region. This confluence is also evident in other precious objects, found in a storeroom in Bagram, that are discussed here.

Tope Kelan and the Stupa Cult in Hadda
Rienjang, Wannaporn Kay
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 52–59

This essay focuses on 5th century AD Buddhist Afghanistan, the period after the era of the Kushans and the Kushano-Sasanians. It highlights Tope Kelan, one of the most imposing stupas in Hadda, excavated by British explorer Charles Masson in the 1830s. By studying the finds in the stupa deposits, the writer argues that a group of Huns, called the Alchon Huns, continued to preserve the legacy of the previous rulers by participating in and supporting Buddhist activities in the area south of the Hindu Kush.

The Sakra Sites and Their Enigmatic Coins
Ziad, Waleed
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 62-69

From the 4th to 12th centuries AD, over 300 varieties of copper coins were manufactured primarily for votive use within a cluster of sacred sites centred on the Kashmir Smast cave temple in the Sakra peak. The religious iconography on these coins is remarkably experimental, deploying an eclectic range of sacred and political imagery. They include Indo-Greek portraits, Iranian and Indian sculptural motifs, and Islamic devotional formulae. These were the products of local die-engravers who worked untethered to either the monetary or artistic traditions of the greater polities of Gandhara. The diversity of visual formulations threatens to displace not only notions of civilizational frontiers, but our conception of geographical and temporal numismatic and artistic circulation zones.

The Hund Statues: Recent Discoveries between Gandhara and Kashmir
Henss, Michael
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 72-81

A group of unique clay sculptures was discovered some 20 years ago in the Greater Kashmir region of ancient Gandhara, between the Indus and Swat valleys. The sculptures are believed to have been found at or near Hund, the ancient Hindu Shahi capital Udabhandapura. But according to other sources, they were found further northwest at Shabaz Garhi, Mardan district. These sculptures are of superb quality, reflect an iconographic syncretism of Hindu Brahmanical and Buddhist elements, and seem to be of a hitherto unseen style. This essay throws new light on these figures which have so far received little scholarly attention.

The Histories in Between: Afghanistan's Religious and Material Cultures
Patel, Alka
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 84-93

This essay re-examines the history of Islamic iconoclasm in Afghanistan and India by focusing on the activities of the Ghaznavid and Ghurid dynasties. Citing examples from Afghanistan's surviving material culture, the writer looks at how its medieval Muslim kings had very different attitudes towards their pre-Islamic neighbours: the Ghaznavids refrained from razing older Hindu-Buddhist sites close to their palaces and fortifications, and the Ghurids reused elements from earlier constructions in their structures. Unlike their conquests in India, where they encountered dominant non-Muslim traditions, these rulers felt less threatened by other religious sites in their homeland which had ceased to be active centres of worship and power, and thereby indirectly tolerated or preserved them.

Gandhara’s Heritage in Pakistan: Research and Conservation
Rehman, Abdul
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 98-105

The artistic traditions of Greater Gandhara covered a vast geographical area and flourished over a long span of time. A number of new sites have been excavated in Pakistan which shed further light on the region's early communities and traditions. The threats to the maintenance and preservation of the sites, manuscripts and objects are several: urbanization and "development", but equally, apathy or societal disconnection. These were matters outlined in a 2015 UNESCO report. This essay discusses the state of education, research and conservation of Gandhara's heritage and the most recent work being done in the field.

Book Review
Vol. 70 No. 4, June 2019, pp. 106-107

Arts of the Hellenized East: Precious Metalwork and Gems of the Pre-Islamic Era, by Martha L. Carter et al., reviewed by Naman P. Ahuja