- 181. Changing Settlement at Harappa
The earliest settlement, during Period 1 (c. 3300-2800 BC), was on the west side of Mound AB and NW corner of Mound E. During Period 2 (c. 2800-2600 BC) all of Mounds AB and E came to be occupied, and by the end of Period 3 (c. 2600-1900 BC), the Harappan Period, most of the area covered by the plan was in use. During Periods 4 and 5 (c. 1900-1300 BC) there was a retraction of settlement to the areas of Mound AB, Harappa Town, and the NW corner of Mound E. This plan also shows the location of the 2000/2001 excavation areas.
- 182. Harappa Mound E
Panoramic view of Mound E with modern Harappa town at the far left. In the center are excavation areas from 1987-1990. At the right is the area of Trench 54, excavated in 2000, that exposes the earliest levels of the ancient Harappan Period city.
- 183. Mound E surface collecting
Excavations in 2000 on the west side of Mound E (Trench 54) began with surface collecting to recover any significant artifacts including inscribed objects and craft indicators.
- 184. Terra cotta seal and faience tablets
High concentrations of objects such as these terra cotta seal and faience tablets indicate the significance of this part of the site (Trench 54 area) for obtaining further insights on the manufacture and use of inscribed pieces.
- 185. Tablet with man-in-tree and tiger
Molded terracotta tablet (H2001-5075/2922-01) with a narrative scene of a man in a tree with a tiger looking back over its shoulder. The tablet, found in the Trench 54 area on the west side of Mound E, is broken, but was made with the same mold as ones found on the eastern side of Mound E and also in other parts of the site (see slide 89 for the right hand portion of the same scene). The reverse of the same molded terra cotta tablet shows a deity grappling with two tigers and standing above an elephant (see slide 90 for a clearer example from the same mold).
- 186. Elephant faience tablet
Faience tablet (H2000-4387/2089-02), found during surface collecting, depicts an elephant on one side and has script on the reverse (not shown).
- 187. Faience button seal
A faience button seal with geometric motif (H2000-4491/9999-34) was found on the surface of Mound AB at Harappa by one of the workmen.
- 188. Early levels of the Harappan city
After surface collections, the Trench 54 area of Mound E was selected for excavations because it allowed the exposure of a large area of the earliest levels of the ancient Harappan Period city, dating to approximately 2600-2450 BC.
- 189. Richard Meadow photographing
Richard Meadow photographs the excavations in Trench 54 from a tall bamboo ladder that is supported by four ropes. This ladder can be situated over any area of the excavations to obtain near vertical views of rooms and artifact scatters.
- 190. Protecting mud brick walls
After mapping and photography, the fragile mud brick walls of Trench 54 are covered with a protective layer of burlap and sifted soil to form a sacrificial layer in which dissolved salts can dry and crystallize without damaging the ancient walls. The burlap is removed and the walls reburied at the end of the excavation season in order to preserve them.
- 191. Pottery fragment with sunburst
In one of the rooms uncovered in Trench 54, a pottery fragment with a sunburst painted decoration was discovered that could be dated to the the beginning of the Harappan Period, perhaps as early as 2600 BC.
- 192. Pit with pottery kiln debris
In what appears to have been an alley way between two blocks of buildings in Trench 54 was found a large pit filled with debris from pottery kilns. In the background is a room with a circular pit dug into it.
- 193. Pottery sherds with potter's marks
The pit filled with kiln debris in Tench 54 had in it sherds from ceramic vessels with marks inscribed on their bases before firing and also from a flat inscribed disc or "bat" (at left) that was used as a removable base for throwing pottery on a potter's wheel.
- 194. Pottery bar with inscriptions
This pottery bat from Trench 54 at Harappa has pre-firing inscription on the underside, inside a ring base that would have allowed the bat to be centered snugly on top of the wooden head of a potter's wheel (H2000-5050/2102-1811)
- 195. Flat pottery discs
Flat, uneven, pottery discs used as baffles in the firing process were found in the pit with kiln debris from Trench 54 (slide 192). Two of these, broken during the firing of the kiln, bear the foot prints of small children. Pottery manufacture during the Harappan Period may have been carried out by individuals with special skills in their homes, in attached workshops, or at locations within the community that were open to visiting children.
- 196. Copper razor
A copper razor (H2000/2164-01) was found in the debris layers at the edge of the kiln dump in Trench 54. Wrapped with fibers, pseudomorphs and impressions of which are preserved in the in the corroded copper, this type of curved razor may have been used in the making of textiles such as carpets (see also slides 115, 197).
- 197. Fragment with fabric impression
A terracotta fragment with fabric impression from Trench 54 provides clues on the types of weaving carried out by the ancient Harappans.
- 198. Beads found in room
A banded agate bead (at left), a long terra cotta bead (center) and a cylindrical steatite bead (at right) were all found in the deposits of a room in Trench 54.
- 199. Different ypes of beads
The ancient Harappans went to great efforts to obtain exotic colored stones for making beads of different shapes and sizes.
- 200. Carnelian beads with white lines
This carnelian bead has been artificially colored with white lines and circles using a special bleaching technique developed by the ancient Harappans.
- 201. Wild caper trees
The new green shoots of the thorny wild caper trees of Sindh and Punjab can be crushed with alkaline salts to create a paint-like substance that will bleach white lines on carnelian when heated to the proper temperature.
- 202. Mark Kenoyer paints designs
Attempts at replication of ancient techniques through modern experiments (experimental archaeology) is an important part of research at Harappa. Here, J. Mark Kenoyer paints designs on carnelian beads using a solution of calcium carbonate/bicarbonate and crushed caper shoots.
- 203. Steatite button seal
Fired steatite button seal with four concentric circle designs from the Trench 54 area (H2000-4432/2174-3).
- 204. Unicorn sealing
Low fired sealing in terra cotta of a unicorn seal from the Trench 54 area (H2000-4453/2174-192). This type of clay sealing was used to seal bundles of goods for transport.
- 205. Faience tablet or standard
This unique mold-made faience tablet or standard (H2000-4483/2342-01) was found in the eroded levels west of the tablet workshop in Trench 54. On one side is a short inscription under a rectangular box filled with 24 dots. The reverse has a narrative scene with two bulls fighting under a thorny tree.
- 206. Tablet with script
Mold-made faience tablet with script found in the eroded surface debris of Trench 54 (H2000-4484/2227-15).
- 207. Tablet with inscription
Twisted terra cotta tablet (H2000-4441/2102-464) with a mold-made inscription and narrative motif from the Trench 54 area. In the center is the depiction of what is possibly a deity with a horned headdress in so-called yogic position seated on a stool under an arch.
- 208. Two steatite tablets
Two inscribed and baked steatite tablets from the Trench 54 area. One has the shape of a fish (H2000-4452/2174-191), while the other has a fish sign inscription (H2000-4477/2227-11).
- 209. Inscribed fragment
Inscribed lead celt or ingot fragment from the Trench 54 area (H2000-4481/2174-321). The object was apparently chiseled to reduce its size. Lead may have been used as an alloy with copper, for making pigments, or as medicine.
- 210. Gold bead
Composite gold bead with copper-alloy core or wire on interior. The corroded copper still covers part of the tubular gold bead.(H2000-4488/9829-01, Mound AB, Trench 43).
- 211. Gold button
A button or sequin made of thin gold foil with a small interior loop for attachment to clothing. This piece was found crumpled into a small wad, possibly in preparation for remelting to make a new ornament. (H2000-4445/2212-01, Mound E, Trench 54)
- 212. Gold bead collection
A collection of gold beads, three of which (UL, UR, LL) have copper-alloy in their interiors. The corroding copper often breaks the softer gold foil. (Mound E, Trench 54)
- 213. Two gold beads
These two gold bead were originally part of the same ornament. Thin gold foil was placed over the outside of a sandy core around a copper tube. (H2000-4382/2087-02, Mound E, Trench 54)
- 214. Tiny gold droplet
This tiny droplet of gold appears to be a placer nugget, possibly obtained by panning for gold. (H2000-4410/2102-08, Mound E, Trench 54)
- 215. Black basalt pebble
A black basalt pebble found in the excavations in Trench 54 has a few faint traces of gold colored streaks that may indicate it was used as a touchstone. Pure gold has a strong yellow-orange streak, while alloyed gold yields a slightly different hue.
- 216. Faience cloven hoof
Tiny cloven hoof made of two-color faience probably from a composite figurine. This cloven hoof could represent any number of animals, but the most common in the Harappan artistic repertoire are cattle and water buffalo. (H2000-4440/2121-90, Mound E, Trench 54)
- 217. Terra cotta dog figurine
Terra cotta figurine of a dog with a projecting collar. This type of collar is today often used on fighting dogs to protect their throats. (H2000-4968/2165-52, Mound E, Trench 54)
- 218. Coiled wire necklace
This unique discovery of a coiled copper-alloy wire necklace (H2000/2242-01) has traces of fibers preserved on the inside. This is among the earliest evidence for finely made wire in the Indus Valley and dates to approximately 2450 BC (Harappa, Trench 54, early Period 3B). This type of wire is likely to have been made by drawing the wire through a series of graduated perforations.
- 219. Fiber pseudomaorphs
Fiber pseudomorphs preserved by copper salts on the interior of the coiled copper necklace (Slide 218).
- 220. Terra cotta pestle
A terra cotta pestle that may have been used for sanding wooden planks was found discarded along with broken pottery in an early Harappan Period 3B deposit in Trench 54.
- 221. Steatie bead blanks
A high concentration of tiny steatite bead blanks was found on an ashy floor near the kiln dump in Trench 54. Each (modern) bamboo piece is pointing at one bead.
- 222. Unfinished steatite beads
Hundreds of unfinished steatite beads were found in one small area an ashy floor in Trench 54. Some of the tiny wafers are perforated.
- 223. Steatite sheets
Thin sheets of steatite sawn from this blocklet found in Trnch 54 would have been broken into small discs and then perforated.
- 224. Experimental steatite manufacture
Experimental manufacture of steatite beads helps us to understand the intricacies of the process. The thin wafers are perforated and then strung on a cord to grind and polish them prior to firing.
- 225. Mullah Ashur grinding beads
The technique for making tiny beads is still practiced by craftsmen today. Mullah Ashoor from Peshawar is seen grinding a string of tiny steatite beads that will later be fired to make them hard.
- 226. Trench 54 top plan
Overall Plan of Trench 54, showing the location of features noted in the previous slides.
- 227. Trench 54 section plan
Section view through Trench 54. Note the location of the steatite bead-working dump.
- 228. Trench 54 detail plan
Detail top plan of the workshop for making steatite and faience beads and inscribed tablets in Trench 54 South.
- 229. Trench 54 looking south
Overview of Trench 54 looking south to the slope on the far side where the steatite and faience workshop was discovered.
- 230. Broken faience beads
Many broken and some complete faience beads of different colors were recovered in the eroded surface layers of the slope on the south side of Trench 54.
- 231. Upper slope excavations
After scraping the surface, excavations of the upper slope of Trench 54 South revealed scattered bricks and a terra cotta molded tablet.
- 232. Terra cotta tablet
Terra cotta tablet in situ (at tip of trowel) in Trench 54 South.
- 233. Close up of terra cotta tablet
Close up view of molded terra cotta tablet (H2001-5061/2381-01) from Trench 54 South after cleaning, desalination, and conservation.
- 234. Robbed brick wall and room
The excavations of the lower slope area of Trench 54 South revealed a robbed brick wall void filled with rubble (foreground) and a room filled with manufacturing debris from faience and steatite working.
- 235. Highly trained excavators
Mohammad Shamoon (black turban) and Abdul Sattar (flowered turban) are highly trained excavators who have worked with the Harappa project since 1986. Here they are carefully uncovering manufacturing debris in Trench 54 South.
- 236. Steatite tablets
Fragile steatite tablets are exposed under the skilled hands of trained excavators using small pointed bamboo sticks and brushes.
- 237. Mark Kenoyer photographing
J. Mark Kenoyer using the bamboo ladder to get an overview of the excavation area in Trench 54 South. Photography is done using digital, film, and video cameras.
- 238. Workshop area
Composite overview of the steatite and faience workshop area in Trench 54 South taken using the bamboo ladder. Two images were pieced together on the computer to make this composite. North is to the right.
- 239. Randy Law documenting
Randy Law, a graduate student from the University of Wisconsin - Madison assisted with the excavation and documentation of Trench 54 South. Here he is using a digital camera to take close up images of manufacturing debris.
- 240. Triangulation
The locations of all important artifacts from Trench 54 South were carefully mapped using standard triangulation methods supplemented by printouts of digigal overviews.
- 241. Tablet fragment with glaze
Faience tablet fragment (H2001-5064/2373-01) with glaze still quite well preserved. The bright greenish blue glaze is usually not preserved on artifacts that have eroded from the Trench 54 South workshop.
- 242. Newly discovered steatite tablet
Mohammad Sahmoon (left) and Saeed Ahmad with newly discovered steatite tablet and raw steatite block from Trench 54 South.
- 243. Unfinished tablet
Unfinished and broken incised steatite tablet (H2001-5087/2934-01) found in the debris on the workshop floor in Trench 54 South.
- 244. Broken steatite mold
Broken steatite mold carved with a unique fan shaped design (H2001-5063). Broken steatite mold carved into a unique fan-shape. (H2001-5069/2913-02). This mold was probably used to make a faience tablet that was found on the eroded slope to the south of the workshop in Trench 54 South (Slide 245).
- 245. Molded faience tablet
Fan-shaped molded faience tablet found on the eroded slope south of the Trench 54 South workshop. It was probably made using the steatite mold found in the workshop (Slide 244).
- 246. Group of artefacts
Artifacts found in one excavation unit from the Trench 54 South workshop include raw steatite, sawn blocklets, incised tablets, a broken mold, and numerous faience beads as well as faience tablets. Also note the chert blade and flake (upper left) that may have been used in the manufacturing process.
- 247. Faience tablet
Faience tablet (H2001-5082/2920-02) made from two colors of faience was found eroding from the Trench 54 South workshop area. Identical tablets made from two colors of faience were recovered in Area J, at the south end of Mound AB, in the excavations of Vats during the 1930s.
- 248. Unique two colored tablet
This uniquely shaped tablet (H2001-5090/2913-09), also made with two colors of faience, has an inscription similar to that seen on the pervious slide (247). This tablet was found inside the workshop in Trench 54 South.
- 249. Inscribed steatite tablets
Inscribed steatite tablets made from two different colors of steatite have the same inscription. The sloppy nature of the inscription may be the reason why these tablets were discarded. Both tablets, incised on one side only, were found in the same excavation unit in the Trench 54 South steatite and faience workshop. (H2001-5084/2913-07 and H2001-5068/2913-01)
- 250. Grindstone and pestle
A concave grindstone and angular pestle found in a room adjacent to the Trench 54 South workshop may have been used for grinding faience paste.
- 251. Broken canisters
Broken canisters, often with glassy vitrified surfaces, were found throughout the Trench 54 South workshop debris. Lumps of frothy faience slag with embedded fragments of bone were also quite common in the debris.
- 252. Kiln setter
Part of a terra cotta kiln setter found in the Trench 54 South workshop debris. The tip is not vitrified and may have been buried in ash during the firing process.
- 253. Glazed kiln setter with bone
A glazed terra cotta kiln setter with bone fused onto the splayed surface appears to have been an important part of the firing process in the Trench 54 South faience workshop.
- 254. Experimental efforts to manufacture and fire faience and steatite tablets were undertaken by J. Mark Kenoyer in Madison, Wisconsin, during the summer of 2001.
Experimental reconstruction of the faience and steatite tablet manufacture was undertaken by Kenoyer in Madison, Wisconsin during the summer of 2001.
- 255. Stages in the manufacture of faience tablets. First it is necessary to make the faience paste and the steatite molds. Then the paste is formed into a rectangle and impressed on both sides by the molds. Finally the molded tablets must be dried slowly with air flowing on all sides to allow efflorescence of the glazing flux that is mixed with the faience paste.
Stages of faience tablet manufature. First it is necessary to make the faience paste and the steatite molds. Then the paste is formed into a rectangle and pressed on both sides by with the molds. Finally the molded tablets must be dried slowly with air flowing on all sides to allow the effloresence of the glazing flux that is mixed with the faience paste.
- 256. Glazing faience
In order to glaze faience it must be fired at approximately 940 degrees Celsius for several hours. The red color of the glowing faience barely visible inside the canister indicates that this temperature has been reached. This was confirmed by using high temperature pyrometers.
- 257. Glazed faience tablets
Fully and partially glazed faience tablets and other fired objects could be examined after the fire had cooled and the canister opened. The steatite molds were also included in the canister to see how they would be affected by this type of firing.
- 258. Workshop excavation units
Section view of the the floor levels of the Trench 54 South workshop showing major excavation units.
- 259. Stratigraphic layers drawing
Section drawing of stratigraphic layers in the upper part of the Trench 54 South faience and steatite workshop.
- 260. Trench 54 perimeter wall
View of excavations on the west side of Trench 54 where brick robbers had removed several massive Harappan Period baked brick walls (c. 2600-1900 BC, Harappa Period 3). At the bottom of the brick robber trench are remains of the Harappan walls and also of earlier mud brick structures of the Early Harappan Period (c. 2800-2600 BC, Harappa Period 2). Looking South.
- 261. Harappan walls section view
Section plan of Harappan and Early Harappan (Period 2) walls on the west side of Trench 54.
- 262. Lateral view of walls
Lateral view of remnants of brick walls and massive mud brick platforms of the Harappan and Early Harappan (Kot Diji) Periods on the west side of Trench 54. Looking North.
- 263. Section plan of walls and platforms
North-South section plan of Harappan (Period 3) and Early Harappan (Period 2) wall remnants and mud brick platforms on the west side of Trench 54.
- 264. Excavations overview
Overview of the excavations showing the Harappan (Period 3) and Early Harappan (Period 2) walls on the west side of Trench 54. North is to the right.
- 265. Harappan and early Harappan walls
Top plan view of Harappan (Period 3) and Early Harappan (Period 2) walls on the west side of Trench 54.
- 266. Trench 57 excavations
Excavations of Trench 57, on the west side of Mound E, during 2000 revealed large mud brick platforms or walls with remnants of baked brick drains just below the modern surface. Looking West.
- 267. Brick drains
Baked brick drains and possible doorways were missed by brick robbers in Trench 57 West. The massive mud brick platforms may have served as foundations for houses.
- 268. Trench 57 excavations
Overview of Trench 57 excavations that were continued in 2001 to reveal massive baked brick wall voids and additional baked brick drains. Looking West.
- 269. Trench 57 west
In Trench 57 West, excavations in 2001 revealed a large paving of backed bricks that may have been part of a courtyard or room originally bordered by massive baked brick walls.
- 270. Trench 57 top plan
Top plan view of Trench 57 excavations indicating the possible layout of the large baked brick walls that were robbed.