Limestone sculpture, Imperial Period, A.D. 150–200, Syria.
An elaborate Palmyrene funerary monument with a Greek inscription “Aththaia, daughter of Malchos, Happy One, Farewell”. Although the Greek inscription betrays her Hellenic affinities, her face and the details of carving are thoroughly Eastern. The incised relief line of the eyebrows and the rubbery folds of the neck foreshadow Graeco-Buddhist sculpture in northern and northwestern India, and central Asia. The carving of the chiton (tunic) and himation is expertly handled, but the number of tight zigzag folds also foreshadows Late Antique and Byzantine art. - mfa.org (text and photo)
Two terracotta sculptures from the Hōryū-ji temple in Ikaruga (Nara), Japan.
These two sculptures are guardians, situated at each entry of the buddhist temple. Agyo, the red one with its mouth open represents expressed power and Ungyo, the black one with its mouth closed represents latent power. They protect the temple against its ennemies and their fierce attitude is supposed to frighten off people with bad intentions.
photos by JapanPhotos.org.uk.
The Boar (Panjurli) brass bhuta Mask from Karnatka region, 18th-19th aprox.
’5 millenia old chariots and 12 horse skeletons were found in a tomb pit in the city of Luoyang in central China. Archaeologists believe the tomb was dug as part of the funeral rites of a minister or other nobleman during the Eastern Zhou dynasty period, about 2,500 years ago.’ - National Geographic.
Kailasanath Temple, AD 756-774, Ellora, Maharashtra, India (by kun0me)
The Kailasanathar Temple is one of the 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex. Of these 34 monasteries and temples, the Kailasa is a remarkable example of Dravidian architecture account of its striking proportion, its elaborate workmanship, and its sculptural ornamentation. - wikipedia.org
Two bronze dōtaku (ritual bells), Yayoi period (about 300 BC-AD 300), Japan.
The origin of the dōtaku is thought to be the Chinese cattle bell. However, the Japanese did not practise cattle farming, so the first bells must have been imported as ritual objects. The fact that they are often found buried on isolated hill-sides and show evidence of having been buried and dug up several times, suggests their use in an agricultural ritual. - britishmuseum.org
The Goddess Durga as Slayer of the Buffalo-Demon Mahisha (Mahishasuramardini), 14th–15th century, Nepal.
Gilt copper alloy, inlaid with semiprecious stones.
This is one of the finest Nepali depictions of Durga known. The eighteen-armed Hindu goddess Durga, an aspect of the Great Goddess Devi, is depicted in the act of slaying the demon Mahisha. After the gods had been defeated in battle by the all-powerful Mahisha, they created Durga to serve as their champion and turned over to her their weapons. With the force of the collective might transferred by the gods to her, Durga slays the demon, who had transformed himself into a ferocious buffalo. Originally, this Durga was part of a larger ensemble. She stood on the back of the buffalo-demon, supported on a pedestal. - metmuseum.org