LARGE SOGDIAN CAMEL WITH RIDER
Terracotta camel of a dark beige colour with remains of heavy crust of soil. The animal with a fierce look is standing on a terrace, the head raised and the tongue hooked, with decorative effects stylising the mane and the wool. A camel driver is sat on the back of the animal, wearing a pointed hat and a beard, typical of the foreigners coming from western Turkey. The man is sat, the feet on the saddle, lows hands while he is driving the camel. The work consists in a bivalve moulding, completed with a removable part with the camel driver sat on its saddle. Good state of preservation. Possible usual ancient repairs.
The Asiatic camel, an important animal for the ancient Chinese economy, comes from the deserts of Central Asia, and most probably from Bactrian, as describes Linnaeus in 1758. It was widely used as a milk producer and as a mount for transporting goods along the Silk Road. They used to eat the meat and drink its milk (only as fermented), and weaved its always much appreciated wool. Approximately two meters high, Chinese knew it since the Han dynasty. Emperors used it also for its great resistance in the postal service which reached up to the desert borders.