Gandhara art greatly influenced by Greek, Roman, Iranian culture

by Mohit Joshi, ANI, July 10, 2008

Mardan, Pakistan -- Several articles recovered from Mardan, a tribal area in NWFP, like toilet trays, terracotta sculptures, coins etc indicate that the Greek, Roman, Iranian and Central Asian cultures deeply influenced the indigenous Gandhara art and culture in the region.

Speaking at a gathering here, a prominent Pakistani archaeologist Dr Zianul Wahab said that Gandhara was the centre of various arts and its architectural techniques were very popular in the world.

He said that the influence of Greek art on Gandhara could be judged from the fact that a number of toilet trays and terracotta sculptures were recovered from Mardan and other northern districts of NWFP in the second century BC.

He said that Gandhara was the centre of various arts and its architectural techniques were very popular in the world. He said that later on Mahayana Buddhism spread to china, Korea Japan and Tibbat from Gandhara.

“Greeks invaded Gandhara but they never touched local religions, cultures and traditions rather they dealt it very gently and decently,” the Dawn quoted him as saying.

He further said that Greek coins were wonderful and glorious contribution to the Gandhara art because those coins showed symbols, wild life, pictures of kings and queens, seasons, crops, Buddhist stupas and even natural calamity. Recovery of those coins helped archaeologists to know that 39 kings and three queens ruled Gandhara, he added.
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