It seems to be an adage around the ancient Indus research that solving one mystery simply surfaces another. This is the case with this paper. It takes on the question of ground – land – transportation in ancient Indus times only to find that larger answers around transport remain fuzzy.
The author brings together a great deal of information to argue that "inscribed stamp-seals were primarily used for enforcing certain rules involving taxation, trade/craft control, commodity control and access control," and in relating stamp seals and tablets, that "such tablets were possibly trade/craft/commodity-specific licenses issued to tax-collectors, traders, and artisans," (p. 1).
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A must-read paper for those fascinated by the extensive trade networks that the ancient Indus civilization was integrated with. Infused with the latest research from the many regions in question, it summarizes and delves into the evidence of people, texts, animals, minerals and plants to seals and weights, pottery, stone, metal and ivory objects, statues, games and toys and more.