A rare article looking in detail at something archaeologists usually do not focus on, but was and is of immense importance in art and human experience. Ancient Balochistan before the Indus period was known for some of the most vibrant colour pottery in South Asia.
This volume explores multiple perceptions of Indian history and scholarship produced through archaeological fieldwork and related photography during the colonial period. The focus is on John Marshall, the man who really made the Archaeological Survey of India the formidable player it became in the reconstruction and preservation of Indian history. He announced and fostered the discovery of the ancient Indus civilization, even as the hard work on the ground was done by a handful of Indian archaeologists.
"Geologically speaking," write the authors, "agate is not a particularly uncommon rock . . .. However, good agate – i.e, that which ancient lapidaries would have found suitable for beadmaking – is not widely available. Nodules of the size and quality required to make Harappan-style long-barrel carnelian beads are, in fact, extremely rare" (p. 177).
An exceptionally interesting, data-driven paper that suggests much was unique about the ancient Indus weight system: "To determine how different units of weight emerged in different regions, researchers compared all the weight systems in use between Western Europe and the Indus Valley from 3,000-1,000 BC."
An Indian State Railways brochure advertising Mohenjo-daro from approximately 1935. With the full text of the brochure (figures, captions charts and images): "Until quite recently, India's wonderful and varied history seemed to spring straight out of nothingness—like the warriors that sprang full-armed from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus."
"The valleys of Kashmir and Swat in the Western Himalayan-Hindu Kush regions of India and Pakistan are home to an important prehistoric cultural complex beginning at around 5000 BP, loosely grouped as the “Northern Neolithic” (Coningham and Young, 2015), especially characterised by a rich agricultural tradition."