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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Panel showing perhaps a theme from a Trojan cycle. Almost in the centre of the space beside the doorway a horse stands on a rectangular platform with, on the outer side, two densely and irregularly spoked wheels; the horse's head, badly damaged in front, reaches almost to the top of the panel and looks slightly outwards towards the viewer. The body shows some modelling; the mane is a low ridge along the back of the neck. In front of the horse a male figure, bending towards it, legs flexed, holds a spear with a long narrow point in both hands against the animal; his right arm is badly damaged and only his left hand is visible in low relief on the shaft of the spear. He wears a girt knee-length tunic and probably a 'chlamys', damaged on the left and with no visible clasp or fibula. His legs are bare but above the ankles is a roll, probably at the top of low boots; the hair is apparently long and flowing but the outer side of the head is damaged and no hair seems to fall below the shoulders. Behind the horse, over the haunches, is the bust of a standing male wearing a garment densely ribbed for folds covering both shoulders, but for this figure there is no continuation below the horse's body and, although only an irregular vertical break is left of the head, it is tempting to think that he was bearded. Beside the horse's tail another male, in profile, appears to be pushing the horse with both arms, although only one hand is visible; he is perhaps wearing a cloak seen from the side and reaching below the knees, and the lower arm may be sleeved to the wrist with a thick material. His left shoulder and upper arm are badly gashed. On his legs rolls (of the tops of boots) are much clearer. The head is largely broken and, like that of the figure opposite, retains some features only on the inner side carved in probable asymmetry with those on the outer. Beside him is a slender shaft, inclining slightly to the right, with a curved and reattached shape at the top, all that is left of a spear and of an arm curving upwards behind it and ending in a hand holding it below the point.
    On the left is a doorway containing a female figure standing almost frontally with both arms raised to the top of the lintel. She wears a lower garment, seemingly a paridhāna, with, on her left, a short and thick excess of material hanging, perhaps looped, from the girdle. This garment extends as far as the double anklets on both legs. Above the girdle she is naked except for a collar and a necklace hanging between the breasts, she wears hoop earrings and her thick hair falls on either side of the head. Above the head and joined to it is an irregularly broken projection, the height of the lintel and roughly in the form of an inverted cone, which readily suggests a lost mural crown (despite the usually quite different dress of the city-goddess in Gandhāra, far more, it would seem, than the chignon). The face is chubby with very full cheeks, somewhat suggesting a child; the mouth is a slit, but the eyes are open and ringed to show the upper and lower lids. On her undamaged left forearm are about five wristlets. The doorway has deeply moulded architraves. Only the bottom of the panel is framed and has a prominent plinth and torus below a fillet slanted back and suggesting a cavetto.


  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2ndC-3rdC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 16.2 centimetres
    • Width: 32.3 centimetres
    • Diameter: 5.4 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    When first published (Hargreaves, 1926: 125), this piece, then in the possession of Mr (later Sir) Francis Wylie ICS, was said probably to have originated from one of the numerous mounds in the (then) Mardan subdivision of Peshawar District and in a printed version of an address to the Tibet Society of 1976, Sir Olaf Caroe, who knew Sir Francis Wylie, states that it came from the Swabi Tahsil, near Hund, a part of that subdivision. Wheeler's suggestion (1968: 137), on the other hand, that the piece came from Charsada, not in the Mardan subdivision, is supported by Sir Francis Wylie's having been Assistant Commissioner at Charsada from May 1919 to May 1921. While it is less likely that he acquired the piece during an interval as Political Agent in Tochi, the possibility increases again with his appointment, from September 1923, as Settlement Officer at Peshawar, when it may have come into his possession from one or other source between late 1923 and the first publication.


  • Bibliography

    • Zwalf 1996 300 bibliographic details
    • Tokyo National Museum 2003a p.135, cat 136 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history



    1995 21 Dec-1996 21 May, Rome, Fondazione Memmo, Alexander the Great: History and Legend
    1996 1 Oct-1997 31 Mar, USA, St. Petersburg, Florida International Museum, Alexander the Great: History and Legend
    2003 5 Aug-5 Oct, Japan, Tokyo National Museum, "Alexander the Great: East-West Cultural Contacts from Greece to Japan"
    2003 18 Oct-21 Dec, Japan, Kobe, Hyogo Prefectural Museum, "Alexander the Great: East-West Cultural Contacts from Greece to Japan"

  • Condition

    1.Grey schist, broken, chipped and rejoined. Carbonaceous quartz-muscovite-chloritoid phyllite [Reedy in Errington and Cribb, 1992: 267 (no. 133) and figs 38-9]. See also Newman, 1992: 164-5, 173. 2.Top flat and almost smooth; bottom mainly flat with some chisel marks and remains of one rectangular tenon somewhat right of centre; left side rough and broken, but side of doorframe suggests a rebate for an adjacent panel; right side roughly broken, but perhaps with remains of a short rectangular tenon. 3.Base moulding lost on right and rejoined on left. 4.Back rough with vertical chisel grooves. 5.Heads of horse and spearman and arm holding spear rejoined.

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Sir Francis Wylie's son, Mr Verner Wylie, told Curator Zwalf that he understood the relief had been given around 1920 to his father during an administrative tour by grateful parents for having saved their young son from a well. His recollection of Chitral in this connection may preserve a memory of Charsada.

  • Department


  • Registration number


Panel. Narrative carving showing a horse on wheels being pushed from behind while a spearman bars the way in front of a door framing a woman with her arms thrown up in distress. A piece obviously showing the Trojan horse but most probably adapted to a Bud

Panel. Narrative carving showing a horse on wheels being pushed from behind while a spearman bars the way in front of a door framing a woman with her arms thrown up in distress. A piece obviously showing the Trojan horse but most probably adapted to a Bud

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Object reference number: RRI11210

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