The Unexplained: The Lady of the Spiked Throne

The Lady of the Spiked Throne is an artifact from the Indus Valley Civilization from the third millennium B.C. Photo: Harappa.com

Do the figures in the conveyance depict goddesses and gods in an afterlife or alternate world, some imaginary place?

A strange artifact was uncovered by a prominent archaeologist.  He did not uncover it in a dig, by sifting for hours and whisking with brushes.

It was called to his attention in a private collection.  It may or may not have been the result of some black market antiquities transactions.

For awhile it was thought to be a modern day forgery.  It is not.  It is the real deal.

It is a terra cotta figurine, formerly painted in vibrant colors that has worn off through the ages.  The figurine is called, The Lady of the Spiked Throne.  The tiny sculpture has fifteen figures in various poses.  It is 57 centimeters in length and 21 centimeters in height.

Sara Marie Hogg

The fact that it was not dug up, but was floating around in private collections makes it doubly mysterious.

The figurine depicts a group of people that are either in a boat, or in a cart, shaped like a bull.  It is called the Cow Boat, but it has not been determined it is a land or water conveyance.  It may even be a traveler on clouds.

The main, larger figure, is a woman elevated on a throne, her feet on a cubical footstool.  She is seated under a canopy.  There are other smaller women surrounding her on a lower level. The smallest figures are men.  They seem to be rows of couples with a central aisle.  The figures wear elaborate headdresses.  The noses are beakish and the eyes, almond.

Was this figurine from a society that was ruled by women–with subservient men?  Or are the figures in the conveyance depictions of goddesses and gods in an afterlife or alternate world, some imaginary place?

In either instance, it seems like women are in charge.  Where did such a society exist?

What do we know?  The Lady of the Spiked Throne is an artifact from the Indus Valley Civilization from the third millennium B.C.

In 2009, a small illustrated volume on the artifact was compiled by Massimo Vidale, a leading Italian archaeologist who was invited to examine the artifact by the private collector who possessed it.  Vidale went into the home for two days and took a professional photographer to photograph it from several angles with different lighting.  He characterized it as amazing and well preserved.  It is “exceptional with archaeological and historical implications.”

The Indus Civilization was prominent from 2600 to 1900 BC.  It had its roots in the early Neolithic Period.  It was located in the Indus River Valley and was also known as the Harappan Civilization.  The two main cities were Harappa and Mohenjo-dad to.  Today, this area is in Pakistan–the Punjab and Sindh Provinces.  The area stretches from the Gulf of Khambhat, eastward to the River Yamuna.

Sure enough, the Harappan Society was maternal, after all.  Women were revered and respected.  Their standing in society was on a higher plane than that of men.  During burials, artifacts and relics were placed with the bodies.  The graves of women’s bodies had two times as many such high quality buried items as those of men.

Other archaeologists who viewed images of The Lady of the Spiked Throne have commented that it is puzzling.  It may have been carried in ceremonies as the handle is worn.  It is an intriguing ancient mystery.

Please click HERE to find Curious Indeed, Sara’s collection of true stories about the odd, strange, and unexplained, on Amazon.

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