Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Taxila (made)

  • Date:

    c.180 BC-50 BC or 4th century-5th century AD (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case R, shelf 3

Physical description

The head of an old man, in terracotta. Brown with whitish deposits. The face is gaunt, with sunken cheeks, arched eyebrows and a bald head.

Place of Origin

Taxila (made)


c.180 BC-50 BC or 4th century-5th century AD (made)


Height: 5.3 cm, Width: 4 cm, Depth: 4.3 cm

Object history note

From the collection of Colonel D.H. Gordon, D.S.O., O.B.E.
This head reflects the strong Greek and Roman influences in the area of Taxila and Gandhara in nothern Pakistan. After the arrival of Alexander the Great of Macedonia (336-323BC), who crossed the Indus in 327BC, and a very brief period of Greek rule, the Hellenistic kingdom of Bactria to the north-west survived for a while and Greek kingdoms were established in Gandhara in the early 2nd-1st centuries BC. These influences were subseqently sustained by trade and cultural contacts with the Roman empire.

Descriptive line

old man; Sculpture, terracotta, Taxila, Gandhara, Pakistan, 2nd century BC-5th century AD

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Marshall, Sir John. Taxila : an illustrated account of archaeological excavations. 3 volumes, New Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass, 1951, reprinted 1977.

Production Note

Ascribed to the Hellenistic period in Taxila (the period of Greek rule in this region spanning the 2nd century BC to the 1st century BC), this figure also has some affinities with terracottas ascribed by Sir John Marshall to the 4th-5th centuries AD.








South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.