1st century B.C. (?) - Lanka

Ruhuna - Terracotta Flywhisk seal

A large teracotta Seal with a Camara fly-whisk, Three Brahmi characters, four prong crown, a seven petal-lotus found in Tissamaharama, at a depth of 8 feet. Age unknown. Probably 1st century B.C.

width46. mm
Height88. mm
Weight~210 gms
ruhuna_flywhisk_seal_left ruhuna_flywhisk_seal_side ruhuna_flywhisk_seal_right
top : A triangular side becoming gradually narrow at top. Seven Petal lotus in highlight
leftSide : Seal in the shape of a inverted "nose" with a vertical channel ending in a pit at center.
frontSide : Cylindrical shape - in highlight Camara fly-whisk to full height, to left 3 Brahami characters, to right a symbol which could be a crown.
rightSide : Seal in the shape of a inverted "nose" with a bent vertical channel ending in a pit at side.
Bottom : Semi-circular base with few incuse channels and pits which could be a crown, which will be in highlight when struck.

Showed it to few officers at Archelogical Department in Colombo. They had not seen one like it before. Informed me that it had been made from extreamly fine grade teracotta.

Dennis Fernando said that the flywhisk was the ancient Royal insignia in many lands such as Egypt and Iran.

Fred Medis pointed out that the outer prongs of the four prong symbol are slightly inclined outwards and it probably represents a crown. The base symbol also with four prongs could be a crown. Is it a royal Seal to roll on clay tablets.

Four large terracotta seals are listed D.1-D.4 under Inscribed Sealings in the 1999 catalog by Osmund Bopearachchi and Rajah Wickramasinhe titled Ruhuna. An Ancient Civilization Re-visited . The seal above was obtained directly from the same collector who provided most of the items for that book.

If anyone has comments on this please let me know.

I need to photograph these larger items but for now the Terracotta seal was scanned at 300dpi and displayed at 100dpi. It was obtained in 2005 March from Mr A. Ratnayaka a collector in Katharagama, Lanka.