Soapstone Seal from Indus Valley
source: Wikimedia Commons
A photograph shows a soapstone seal from the Indus Valley, depicting a horned figure sitting cross-legged with its hands resting on its knees. Several animals are depicted near the figure, as well as a line of text above it.
Artifact: 2600–1900 BC
This soapstone seal, discovered in the Indus Valley, depicts a seated figure, presumably some sort of deity over animals. Due to the figure’s seated position and posture, some modern sources attribute this seal as being the earliest evidence of the practice of yoga. However, this stance is not widely accepted; the seated position depicted is fairly natural and would not necessitate the practice of yoga in this region and period.
Samuel, G. (2008). The origins of yoga and tantra: Indic religions to the thirteenth century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.