[Photo.34/(005)] Amaravati (no. 36)

Excavated portion of bas-relief panel showing lion attacking a man with a tape measure laid across the piece to indicate scale. The reference number allocated to the piece refers to Robert Sewell’s ‘Report on the Amaravati Tope, and Excavations on its site in 1877’ (London, 1880) in which the piece is described.

‘No. 36. (3 ft. 3 in.) long by 1 ft. 11 in.) This is a thin slab lying flat, its surface forming a flooring level with the surface of Nos. 34 and 35. Upper surface plain and unornamented. I did not have this raised until some other stones had been excavated, examined and numbered. When it was raised it was found that another stone of smaller size had been placed underneath it, the two together being about the thickness of No. 34. I looked upon this as almost conclusive that these stones were carefully placed in their present position for some purpose, smooth surfaces uppermost, and that they are not found as they fell from their true position on the structure. This No. 36, whose sculptured side was underneath as it lay, is one of the series forming an animal frieze which Mr Fergusson assigns to the foot of the external face of the outer rail, F., XVII. This may be a correct conjecture, but my marble No. 45 should be examined in connexion with these, as the slab, though bearing a similar design, is rounded at the top like all the coping stones of the rail. No. 46 has a winged line apparently ambling along. (In the specimens in the British Museum he is gallopping or trotting.) An attendant, dressed just like a horsekeeper of the present day, in short drawers and cloth with the ends flying out behind, holds him by the ear. He has a curved weapon in his left hand. Above this is a broad conventional flower-band with a gana. Below is a stiff band of rather ugly diamond-shaped ornaments. I have a photograph of it for reference.’

Robert Sewell
‘Report on the Amaravati Tope, and excavations on its site in 1877’ (London, 1880, p. 44)

Faded print. Original negative not held. Part of a collection of twenty albumen prints mounted on card, with captions written in ink beneath the prints and all signed ‘R. Sewell’.