“Many reconstructions of Harappan religion are made on assumptions and archaeological interpretation.” Substantiate the statement.
Early archaeologists thought that certain objects which seemed unusual or unfamiliar may have had a religious significance. These included terracotta figurines of women, heavily jewelled some with elaborate head-dresses, regarded as mother goddesses.
Rare stone statutory of men in an almost standardised posture, seated with one hand on the knee such as ‘priest king’ was also similarly classified.
Same structures have been assigned of ritual significance which include great bath and fire altars found at Kalibangan and Lothal.
Attempts have also been made to reconstruct religious beliefs and practices by examining seals, some of which seem to depict ritual scenes. Others, with plant motifs, are thought to indicate nature worship. Some animals – such as the one-horned animal, often called the ‘unicorn – depicted on seals seem to be mythical, composite creatures. In some seals, a figure shown seated cross-legged in a yogic posture, sometimes surrounded by animals, has been regarded as a depiction of ‘proto-Shiva’, that is, an early form of one of the major deities of Hinduism. Besides, conical stone objects have been classified as lingas.