A Review of Archaeological Reports and Literature on the Gandhara Sculpture Collection of the Royal Ontario Museum

  • Irfan Ullah universiti sains malaysia
  • Muhammad Akram Soomro Assistant Professor in Institute of Communication Studies at University of the Punjab Lahore
  • Mudassar Zulfiqar Department of Sociology at University of Punjab
Keywords: Gandhara, Sculpture, Collection, Royal Ontario Museum


This review paper focuses on a forty-three-piece collection of Gandhara sculpture in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. Although individual pieces of Gandhara sculpture are widely known to scholars, much of the collection of the Gandhara sculpture of the Royal Ontario Museum is unknown to scholars. In this paper, these sculptures have been described and analysed as a collection. The paper is organised on Gandhara ancient history, physical geography, and the history of the Buddha image in ancient subcontinent Pakistan in South Asia. Emphasis is placed on the era of the Kushan Empire from the 1st to 4th century AD when the school of Gandhara sculpture achieved its highest levels of production and craftsmanship. The Gandhara School of sculpture produced work continuously for at least six centuries and reached its peak of achievement during the era of the Kushan Empire that dominated Central Asia and Northern sub-continent India-Pakistan from the 1st to 4th centuries AD.