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Relief sculpture - Transportation of Buddha's relics

Transportation of Buddha's relics

  • Object:

    Relief sculpture

  • Place of origin:

    Pakistan (Nawagai, Swat Valley, made)

  • Date:

    2nd century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved grey schist

  • Credit Line:

    Presented by Barger and Wright

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

This roughly square panel is badly damaged with much of the relief carving having been broken off leaving only outlines of the design in certain places. It shows a rider carrying a reliquary riding a camel shown in profile. The head of the camel is missing as is that of the rider, but the outlines can still be discerned. The camel has shaggy hair down the front of its neck and is caparisoned with a rosette on its left shoulder. The rider is wearing an antariya with a frilly edge and an uttariya flowing out behind him from his shoulder. There are two accompanying figures; that on the left is now only blocked out in outline between the rider and the camels' neck. The other figure is a warrior (his head is also missing) holding a lance. He is dressed in armour with a skirt of rectangular plaques in two tiers above his antariya worn in kancha style tucked up between his legs.
There is a fixing pinhole under the rear part of the camel's belly.

Place of Origin

Pakistan (Nawagai, Swat Valley, made)


2nd century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved grey schist


Height: 0.205 m, Length: 0.22 m

Object history note

Acquired from Evert Barger, Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Bristol and Philip Wright, V&A Museum, as part of the collection of finds excavated during their expedition to the Swat valley in 1938. This is No 117 in Barger's lists.

Descriptive line

Fragment of a relief illustrating the transportation of the Buddha's relics, grey schist, 2nd century AD, Swat Valley.

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

p. 89, pl. XXVIb
Ackermann, Hans Christoph. Narrative Stone Reliefs from Gandhara in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Catalogue and Attempt at a Stylistic History. Reports and Memoirs. Director of the Series Giuseppe Tucci. Volume XVII. IsMEO, Rome, 1975.





Subjects depicted

Camel; Buddhism; Figures


Sculpture; Animals and Wildlife; Buddhism


South & South East Asia Collection

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