Barger, E. and Wright, P., ‘Excavations in Swat and Explorations in the Oxus Territories of Afghanistan, a detailed report of the 1938 expedition’, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, vol. 64, Calcutta, 1941.
Fragment of a relief depicting the birth of the Buddha, grey schist, 2nd century AD, Swat Valley.
Height: 0.18 m, Length: 0.125 m
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 20 in Barger's lists.
A fragmentary relief showing two figures of Queen Maya (with damaged head), the mother of the Buddha, who supports herself resting her left arm round the shoulder of her sister, Mahaprajapati, who, in turn comforts the Queen with her left hand resting on her hip. Both stand frontally on a high plain ledge, but the baby Buddha springing from Maya's side is no longer extant. The women wear antariyas over which Maya wears a low slung belt with lappets. Her sister's uttariya is caught over her left forearm and billow out above and below.