Indian art in close-up detail, £14.99
Width: 39.000 cm
Height: 29.700 cm
Thickness: 7.300 cm
Collected by Markham
Transferred from the India Museum
Asia OA 1880.3724
Enlightenment: Ancient scripts
Brick with Sanskrit inscription
Indian, AD 1217
Found at Mai, Jaunpur district, Uttar Pradesh, India
A thirteenth-century mortgage
Markham Kittoe (1808-1853) found this brick in a field in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Kittoe served as an officer in the British army in India and later became the Archaeological Enquirer to the government in the North Western Provinces.
The brick is dated Sunday 11 June 1217 and has inscriptions in Sanskrit and a local dialect, which are written in Nagari script. These inscriptions record a mortgage for the sum of 'two thousand two hundred and fifty Shadbodika drammas' taken out by 'ra[ja] Gangadeva, son of ra[ja] Dhanu' against land that he owned.
These inscriptions also gave scholars an important insight into the structure of Indian society in the thirteenth century. Several nineteenth-century publications reported the brick's discovery and gave translations of its inscriptions.
M. Kittoe, Illustration of Indian Archite (London, 1838)
M. Archer, British Drawings in the India (London, 1969)