Two Buddhist sculpture slabs from the Swat Valley
Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of two Buddhist sculpture slabs taken by Alexander .E Caddy in 1896. The lower slab depicts the seven steps of the new-born Buddha whilst the upper example, possibly represents King Suddhodana asking Brahmans about Maya's dream. The ancient kingdoms of Udyana (Swat) and Gandhara (Peshawar) corresponded fairly closely with the northern part of the North West Frontier Province which were ruled by Kushans from the first century BC. The sculpture of the area, referred to as Gandharan, was influenced by Graeco-Roman elements. This influence is shown on this slab, in the draped clothing the figures wear, and in the naturalistic modelling of their bodies. In 1895 Surgeon-Major L.A.Waddell went to the Swat valley to undertake archaeological research and met with, Major Deane, the Chief Political Officer. Deane was a well-known archaeologist, who, Waddell tells us, had, "for many years has been zealously and most successfully exploring the Buddhist remains of Peshawar and its frontier countries." The sculptures photographed here are said to have remained in his possession although he handed over the majority of his finds to Waddell.