Tortoise - Nosy Crow Skip to content


Terrapin figure, India, about 1600

The tortoise and its relatives, the freshwater terrapin and marine turtle, have solid bodies with armoured shells to protect them from predators.

This terrapin carving was made in India at the time of Mughal rule and comes from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. It was found during engineering work at the Mughal fort in the old city, which in ancient times was the Hindu sacred city of Prag. The fort was occupied by Jahangir (who reigned as emperor from 1605 to 1627), and so the terrapin is called: ‘the Emperor’s terrapin’.

Text and website © Nosy Crow Ltd 2024

Images © The Trustees of the British Museum