Buddhist statue, so-called Athene figure, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a Buddist sculpture referred to as an 'Athene figure' from an unknown location near Peshawar in the North West frontier Province and probably now in the Lahore Museum Collection, taken in c.1883 and attributed to Henry Hardy Cole (probably incorrectly). Theodor Bloch, a Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of India, wrote, 'Female figures of exactly the same type are very common as door-keepers in reliefs representing a scene located in a harem, e.g., birth scene of Buddha, or Buddha taking leave from his wife. They are the yavanis of Sanskrit writers. In my opinion, this so-called Athene belongs to the same class.' This style of sculpture, influenced by Graeco-Roman elements, is known as Gandharan and takes its name from the ancient kingdom of Gandhara (Peshawar) which, together with Udyana (Swat), corresponded fairly closely to the northern part of the North West Frontier Province.