Indo-Corinthian capital with figure of Surya, from Mian Khan Tope, Mala Tangi, Peshawar District 10031076
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph, taken around 1883, attributed to Henry Hardy Cole, probably incorrectly, of a boxed capital with a figure of Surya and a label recording the find spot 'Mian Khan. Tope at Mala Tangi. Rec. from Major Cole R.E. Dec. 1883.' These sculptures, according to Bloch's 'List of The Photographic Negatives of the Indian Antiquities in the collection of the Indian Museum' (1900), were 'said to be now in Madras'. In this photograph we can only view the top of the column known as the capital. The Corinthian capital is a distinctively Greek architectural feature, yet from the first century AD onwards, they became popular in Peshawar district. Graeco-Roman influence affected not only architectural features but a variety of artistic traditions in this area. Sculpture is a notable example of this phenomena, as the large quantities of statues found in the Peshawar district were heavily influenced by classical forms. The columns found in Peshawar are not, however, identical to their Greek counterparts. They blend Indian and classical features and are therefore termed 'Indo-Greek'. An aspect of the column that betrays Indian influence is the deity carved into the capital, known as Surya, who is associated with the sun.