"Illegal excavations and looting of archaeological sites in parts of the Indo-Iranian borderlands and regions of South- Eastern Iran and Central Asia have been rampant over several decades. Archaeologists have attempted to minimise the damage caused by the plundering of sites by studying and publishing artefacts abandoned by looters on-site, or those recovered by security forces," write the authors.
"A small showcase of the Zahedan Museum keeps, among other finds, the fragmentary headless torso of a small statuette in a buff-grey limestone, with a strongly weathered surface. Without opening the showcase, I was allowed to take several pictures of the fragment, from various angles," writes the author.
"Correlating ancient textual sources with iconography and archaeological evidence in general is notoriously a controversial exercise, constantly carried out on endemically slippery grounds," writes the author at the very start.
An amazing catalogue of female figurines from Neolithic times across the world, in places connected and witness to constantly shifting populations. Beautifully illustrated, with focus on Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley pieces which are seen in connection to a long, sophisticated tradition.
"A wide range of Indus artefacts have been found over the past forty years at many coastal and inland sites in the Oman peninsula, including utilitarian and ritual pottery, ornaments, seals, weights and, more recently, terracotta toys for children," write the authors.
Was this disc from Mohenjo-daro at the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi used for counting? The circles with dots in the middle are identical to those found on other ivory objects from Mohenjo-daro thought to have been used as counters.