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Plate 5 Bactrian nobles in The Armies of Bactria 700BC-450AD Volume 2 (Illustrations) by Valerii P Nikonorov.
Colour Plates by Rory Little




Plate 5 - Bactrian nobles under Kanishka I
the Great (first half of 2nd century AD)

(5A) King Kanishka the Great
(5B) Kushano-Bactrian noble in everyday dress
(5C) Kushano-Bactrian noble warrior on foot

       The figure of Kanishka (5A) is mainly based on his statue from Mathura (Fig 38e). His headgear has been restored after some of his coins (Fig 41d). The king is shown wearing a long beltless caftan over a long belted undergarment. He holds two weapons as badges of power. His heavy mace or club is made of wooden pieces held together by gilt metal hoops; its top is decorated with a gilt metal head of an Indian makara, a crocodilian monster. His left hand grips the hilt of his massive sheathed sword, the hilt being shaped into a bird's head and neck. The richly ornamented scabbard is attached not to a waist-belt, as usual, but to the over-caftan itself, using two points of fastening; firstly, by means of a leather strap passing through the scabbard-slide, and secondly, by another strap fastened to the scabbard rear slightly above the scabbard-slide.
       The personage (5B) is based on representations from Kampyr-tepe, above all on a silver statuette (Fig 36d,e). He may be interpreted as a chief of this fortress garrison, dressed in everyday garments. They are typical for Yeh-chih and Kushan Bactria (see also Figs 31h and 36b) and consist of a long-sleeved caftan below the waist, wrapped over to the left and belted, and wide trousers (sharovary).
       The noble warrior (5C) is based on terracotta figurines from Kampyre-tepe and the Termez Museum (Fig 36c,f), on which each of the personages is encased in a "muscle" cuirass, broad protective belt set in a metal frame and armoured skirt. They also have shields which are positioned by their left legs, but only the edges of which can be seen. Hence, the warrior's round shield with knobbly decoration, shown in our reconstruction, is of a type known from Great Kushan coins (Fig 40a). The long double-edged sword, hypothetically added here, is the same as those of Yeh-chih/Kushan soldiery, found in Bactria (Fig 33a,b). Note that the reconstruction of the armoured skirt presented here is speculative; it could take a different form, for example like that of our (3C).

Source: The Armies of Bactria 700BC-450AD Volume 2 (Illustrations) by Valerii P Nikonorov



See also Kushan Statue of Kanishka, Mathura, India, mid 2nd century AD
Plate 4 Yeh-chih cavalry in The Armies of Bactria 700BC-450AD Volume 2 (Illustrations) by Valerii P Nikonorov. Colour Plates by Rory Little
Plate 7 Gandharan warriors in The Armies of Bactria 700BC-450AD Volume 2 (Illustrations) by Valerii P Nikonorov. Colour Plates by Rory Little







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