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Material Culture of Ancient India Project (WH1 with Dahlia): Home

Working in groups, students will recreate artifacts from Ancient India in order to consider the importances of objects in everyday life.

Project Overview

Working with a partner or in a group of no more than three students, you will recreate an object from the time of the Mauryan (324-184 BCE) or Gupta (320-550 CE) empires of ancient India in order to understand the significance of everyday and ritual objects in the formation of complex social groups. This project involves the following components:
 

  • Independent research using online databases and archives

  • CREATE Studio work time on your object

  • Creation of an Aurasma video clip and gallery card to accompany your object

  • A 3-page individually-written research paper about the empire from which your object originated and about its cultural and historical significance as a reflection of that empire’s values and beliefs about power, gender, and/or religion/spirituality

Mauryan and Gupta Empires -- Artifacts

Stone panel depicting the Buddhapada (footprints of the Buddha)

Stone panel depicting the Buddhapada (footprints of the Buddha)

Mauryan period, 1st century BCE
From the Great Stupa at Amaravati, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh
Sandstone

Image courtesy of the British Museum (copyright reserved).

 

https://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/exhibit/mauryans/images/silver_roundel.jpg

Roundel with elephant riders
Mauryan period, early 2nd century BCE
Silver

Image courtesy of the British Museum (copyright reserved).

 

Ring Stone

Ring Stone

Period: Shunga period

Date: 1st–2nd century B.C.

Culture: North India

Medium: Stone

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Drum Slab Showing the Buddha Standing in the Gateway of a Stupa

Drum Slab Showing the Buddha Standing in the Gateway of a Stupa

Period: Ikshvaku period (3rd–4th century)

Date: second half of the 3rd century

Culture: India (Andhra Pradesh, Nagarjunakonda)

Medium: Limestone

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Buddha Shakyamuni

Buddha Shakyamuni

India, Uttar Pradesh, late 6th century

Sculpture
Copper alloy with traces of paint
 
from LACMA collection

Map of the Maurya and Gupta Empires

Map of the Maurya and Gupta Empires

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Sarah Clark
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