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Decorative plaque from a chair or throne

Locate this carved panel.

This panel was carved from ivory, which is made from the teeth or tusks of animals such as elephants. The design looks like carvings found in India so it tells us that people from different countries travelled through Afghanistan and traded with the people there.

Imagine the skill of the carver as they carefully cut and scraped into the ivory. Role-play how they would have to move their hands.

Look at all the different ivory carvings in this case. Spot the flower and plant shapes.

Design your own pattern around this horse shape. Hint: if you’d like to print the image only, right-click on it and select save, then print it.

Decorative plaque from a chair or throne, Begram, room 13, 1st century CE, ivory, 8.4 × 20 cm, National Museum of Afghanistan. Credit: Thierry Ollivier

At home

Cut and layer card or paper patterns and shapes to make your own decorative panel.