The Maharishi(Great Sage) Agastya|India,Bihar,Lakhi Sarai, 12th century.Agastya  was a great sage and religious ascetic.  He and his descendants are credited with being responsible for the introduction of Hinduism and the worship of the important god Shiva. Agastya is also believed to have taught south Indians medicine and grammar, invented the eloquent Tamil language of south India, and even written a treatise on making religious images for temples.

The Maharishi(Great Sage) Agastya|India,Bihar,Lakhi Sarai, 12th century.Agastya was a great sage and religious ascetic. He and his descendants are credited with being responsible for the introduction of Hinduism and the worship of the important god Shiva. Agastya is also believed to have taught south Indians medicine and grammar, invented the eloquent Tamil language of south India, and even written a treatise on making religious images for temples.

Bronze Hand of Sabazius Roman 3rd Century AD Sabazius was an eastern god of fertility and vegetation, who in Roman times was worshiped in association with other deities, particularly Dionysus (or Bacchus, as he was generally known to the Romans). His cult inspired a series of votive images of hands, the fingers of which form the gesture of benediction still familiar in Christian practice.

Bronze Hand of Sabazius Roman 3rd Century AD Sabazius was an eastern god of fertility and vegetation, who in Roman times was worshiped in association with other deities, particularly Dionysus (or Bacchus, as he was generally known to the Romans). His cult inspired a series of votive images of hands, the fingers of which form the gesture of benediction still familiar in Christian practice.

Shiva as Mahesha. Chola period (880–1279),10th century.India (Tamil Nadu). This statue is part of a group of unusual large stone carvings in the round from the Chola period. They all portray the same deity, long identified as Brahma but now thought to be Mahesha, a form of Shiva. From him are born the other two great Hindu gods, Brahma and Vishnu. Mahesha is shown with four faces: the one on the right represents Brahma; in the center, Shiva; on the left, Vishnu; and on the back, Rudra .

Shiva as Mahesha. Chola period (880–1279),10th century.India (Tamil Nadu). This statue is part of a group of unusual large stone carvings in the round from the Chola period. They all portray the same deity, long identified as Brahma but now thought to be Mahesha, a form of Shiva. From him are born the other two great Hindu gods, Brahma and Vishnu. Mahesha is shown with four faces: the one on the right represents Brahma; in the center, Shiva; on the left, Vishnu; and on the back, Rudra .

Dogū (Clay Figurine). Final Jōmon period (ca. 1000–300 B.C.).Japan.This stylized, hollow figurine (dogū) of a female is representative of the type found in the Tōhoku region of northern Honshu and made during the Late and Final Jōmon periods.

Dogū (Clay Figurine). Final Jōmon period (ca. 1000–300 B.C.).Japan.This stylized, hollow figurine (dogū) of a female is representative of the type found in the Tōhoku region of northern Honshu and made during the Late and Final Jōmon periods.

Head of Surya, c. 6th century,India, Mathura, Post-Gupta period.Surya  is the chief solar deity in Hinduism and generally refers to the Sun. He usually has a lotus in each hand and is usually shown in a chariot drawn across the heavens by seven horses or one horse with seven heads. He is also shown with four hands, three carrying a wheel, a conch-shell and a lotus and the fourth in a protective mode.

Head of Surya, c. 6th century,India, Mathura, Post-Gupta period.Surya is the chief solar deity in Hinduism and generally refers to the Sun. He usually has a lotus in each hand and is usually shown in a chariot drawn across the heavens by seven horses or one horse with seven heads. He is also shown with four hands, three carrying a wheel, a conch-shell and a lotus and the fourth in a protective mode.

Nandishvara, Anonymous, 800 - 900.Midden-Java.Nandishvara is one of the two guards at the entrance to temples of the Hindu god Shiva. He has the appearance of an elegant young man and stands on Shiva’s right side. In one hand he holds a circle of prayer beads, in the other a floating lotus flower. The trident is the weapon of Shiva.

Nandishvara, Anonymous, 800 - 900.Midden-Java.Nandishvara is one of the two guards at the entrance to temples of the Hindu god Shiva. He has the appearance of an elegant young man and stands on Shiva’s right side. In one hand he holds a circle of prayer beads, in the other a floating lotus flower. The trident is the weapon of Shiva.

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