by v ramchandra rao

pointed helmet saka from old iranian frieze..I've met sardarjis who look the same!Old paintings and sculptures sort of modernized.....this is basically meant to stimulate discussion. Although it may appear somewhat fanciful it is based on old statues, paintings and skeletal material. Actually it started off from a question --what did they look like really?

I found most of us have some idea of what they may have looked like, and in most cases it was wrong. (me too) But by seeing old paintings and sculptures and coins ..and physical remains-- we can get a reasonably good idea.

So this started off as a light hearted diversion from heavy inscriptions and things. People liked these a lot, because it really brought to life old paintings and statues. I've not modified the features. Merely added hair and a T-shirt for most, and a nose for one. You can see such people in any street in India even TODAY. Please note except in well preserved paintings like ajanta, we dont know the skin color. (Already some friends said make some more copies but change the complexion).

The important thing is, it clears up our preconcieved /imaginary notions of what they looked like...

Some friends were disappointed, while some were delighted. A typical comment--"Man, he looks like a relative of mine !!" and "Oh. Too bad. No connection to my people..."

Here's the fresco painting of the Ajanta Princess cleaned up.

I removed most of the ornate jewellery and headress.

princess, ajanta cave paintings

Looks like someone you know? Lots of Indian girls of today look exactly like her. Actually she was probably far more dark complexioned. I lightened her skin a bit to bring out the features. Friends say she looks kannada -telugu -marathi. If darkened, she looks Tamil... and lightened, anywhere from Afghanistan -Punjab all the way to Assam.

A statue fragment head found in indus valley civilisation.

1. Lets see what we get if we repair the nose and add some colour, next. head found in indus valley levels.
2.Looks like someone from Punjab -Rajasthan, even a Gujarati Bania? (Previous image below was incorrect, nose too sharp.)
guy looks like punjabi? or northeastern hill  tribal?
3. This variation.... resembles Sindhis, Gujaratis or Rajasthanis..? and if darker...
4. Some say this looks like a person from sindh chaa do saayin !
5. If skin colour is made darker, he resembles Central Indian Tribal people. and if really tanned in the sun...

What he DOESNT resemble is easier to see. He doesnt look average upper caste, brahmanoid or south Indian, whatever colour we may give him. He could be made to look african as well without changing the features. Also, most of the skeletal material in Lothal, etc displayed sharply receding foreheads, and VERY WIDE and FLAT NOSES. What do you think? In your experience who do the faces resemble TODAY and which seems to be the most likely depiction? Pl. share your views too.

Here's the snooty Indus statue

famous head whom do you think he looks like?

The famous "priest king" statue of Indus Valley. Actually we dont know for sure if he was a king or priest or merchant or doctor or anything. You decide which people the modern version resembles. Some said this retouched pic clearly showed Jat- like features, even a Haryana Yadav. Another just exclaimed, "Sharmaji!". A friend said see the thick lips? make him slightly darker, he's a rajasthani banni.( bania, pani). Another friend said there's no doubt he's an afghan ( iranian afghan). Well... this guy can pass for a punjabi even today, but Tamil? Kannada ? Telugu ? Doubtful. Please understand the implications. Below is another pic from National Museum Delhi, and the modernised version. Whom does he look like? Haryana jat, possibly...this means ppl with such features were very much around in harappan times...and not just "saka" of 300 AD. hmm. changes lot of preconcieved notions.

same headwith colour added

Since we are fooling around anyway, lets go further afield...the skull here is from CRO MAGNON collection. Adding soft tissues like for average human being gives us a face. Sure he may be much darker and fleshier, as some people said. But gives an idea of the looks of cromagnon folks, who invaded europe a long time ago.

cromagnon skull
Lets make him brownish, which is what they are likely to have been. Some said this pic resembles south Italian people. Others said rajasthan, uttar pradesh, maharashtra, south russian etc.

Of course his complexion could have been very dark or very fair, he could have red or blond hair , straight or curly...we dont know really.

In which case...

modernized cromagnon..maybe south italian, heh

But they are supposed to have come from AFRICA? said a friend. Hm. Lets see...OK here's the face from the same skull if he came from Africa, just across the duckpond.

Someone can come up with a papuan face, or a mongoloid one too. As you can see, there is no end to speculation. But it is often passed off as proven fact.

whoops what if they were african!

And here's one more cromagnon skull fleshed out... Actually the guy should look more eskimo, really like in the last one. Later, will try out african version too.

Another cro magnon skullanother cro mag skull
fleshed out..hmm russian /iranian /indian , eh?

Naah. This doesn't seem likely. They had small eye sockets, probably an eye fold too.

cromagnon? not really
This is more like it, eskimoid. Their faces were small, skulls very long , they had big cheekbones, big jaws and worn teeth like eskimos.

Yeah, resembles Arnie. I swear it wasn't planned. The nose could be much bigger. Or skin could be black, too.

thisis more like it, eskimoid

Some friends are going to get pics of other famous ancient celebrities and give a modern touch to them. One friend said he will try instead to get photos of PRESENT DAY people who resemble the old paintings and sculptures. Anyway the pics are only an indication, remember. But some indication is better than imaginary notions, right? Always remember "history" is history FROM a standpoint of somebody. You don't have to accept their (fake and concocted ) history or standpoint as your own ---don't let them pull a fast one on you. Don't worry. Eventually, we will emerge out of the present "prehistory".

back to
roots of indians part 1-----roots of indians part 2--- discussion

please send your text additions and suggestions too --(especially if you think this is absurd ;-)

( Still better, if you want to share any such pictures please place them on a website somewhere and send the links only).

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©v ramchandra rao || email : vramrao@yahoo