Indus Valley Pottery votive figure, Circa 3000-2000 BC
Terracotta vessel made in sinuous shapes resembling a female form with her arms folded under her chest and an opening in her head that simulates an up-do. Its function could be to contain water for ritual libations or some kind of cereal grain as a food offering. In addition, there are various shapes that indicate that they may also have contained incense. These sculptures are considered to have had a votive function, as a large number of them have been found in sacred deposits, so they are thought to have an apotropaic function. The apotropaic function of these pieces was to protect fertility and motherhood. It would undoubtedly be a key ritual element for fertility.