Linga with One Face of Shiva (Ekamukhalinga)

Period: Mon-Dvaravati period

Date: 7th–early 8th century

Culture: Thailand (Phetchabun Province, Si Thep)

Medium: Stone

Dimensions: H. 55 1/8 in. (140 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Evelyn Kossak, The Kronos Collections, 1994

Accession Number: 1994.510


Monumental lingas of the seventh and eighth centuries are found throughout Thailand. Kings would establish lingas as a religious act and as a means of legitimizing their claims to power over newly conquered territories. Ideas of perfect geometry help relate the octagonal base to the cardinal and intermediate directions, while the circular pillar is implicitly the cosmic axis. Here, the face of Shiva provides a focus for veneration; he is recognizable by the crescent in his hair and by his vertical third eye.