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Rhinoceros Unicornis, the indian rhinoceros

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Chapter Summary

The greater Indian one-horned rhinoceros, or simply the Indian rhinoceros, is a large, heavily built animal with an average male shoulder height of 1.7 m; females are somewhat smaller. During the third and second millennium B.C.E., the Indian rhinoceros still abounded in the Indus valley. The earliest depictions in stone of a rhinoceros originate from the Indus Valley, Pakistan, where they were made during the Harappa period of the Bronze Age (2,300-1,750 B.C.E.) in the form of steatite seals. Most of them, if not all, originate from Mohenjo-daro. The image of the Indian rhinoceros appears to have travelled to the west as is evidenced by a glazed steatite cylinder seal from the Sumerian site Tell Asmar, the ancient city of Eshnunna, Iraq (c. 2,000-1,800 B.C.E.), a city along the ancient trade routes between Iran and Mesopotamia.

Keywords: Indian rhinoceros; Indus valley; Mesopotamia



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