Sotheby’s auction house recently had a sale of miscellaneous antiquities, including a 14″ stone disk dated to 2200-1700 BC from the “Bactrian/Margian Region.” This is the so-called “BMAC” (Bactria-Margiana Archeological Complex), centered around Merv in present-day Turkmenistan, which was first described by Soviet archeologists in the 1970’s. I don’t know enough about it, but this disk — how did it end up at Sotheby’s? — is apparently not the only example of its kind.
Christie’s sold a similar piece five years ago:
This disk is 2″ larger in diameter than the Sotheby’s example. The pestles (or pedestals?) flanking it, #17, are described as ‘ritual objects.’ I have no idea what ritual purpose they could serve, though, and the auction house catalog descriptions don’t shed much light. The Christie’s disk and ‘ritual objects’ sold for $7,200 which presumably was the basis for Sotheby’s estimate of $5,000 – $8,000 for their disk; it ended up selling for $5,313.
A quick search yields more examples. They all seem to have a characteristic slot or groove through the center.
(photos by greyherbert)