Despite significant theoretical advances, there is still no universally accepted paradigm for the investigation of sex and gender and little critical research on the subject in South Asian archaeology. Without deciphered texts, artifacts such as figurines that provide body imagery are invaluable in understanding these conceptions in ancient societies. This paper is a critical examination of representations of the body in the Indus civilization, focusing on the anthropomorphic terracotta figurines from Harappa and using more flexible notions of sex, gender, and sexuality to explore Indus conceptions of sexual difference as it relates to other aspects of social difference and identity. The meaningful combinations of the attributes of the represented Indus body may reflect complex and fluid concepts of sex, gender, and sexuality in Indus society that differed from later traditions and varied beneath the cultural veneer of the Indus Civilization with its unique ideology.


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pp. 304-328
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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