"I'd like the experts to confirm or refute that the Indus Valley civilization was a matriarchy following the scientific definition given by Heide Goettner-Abendroth in Modern Matriarchal Studies: Definitions, Scope and Topicality." Asked by Sede Decana Método DeRose and Luciano
In an absence of a deciphered script and of graves with clear evidence of hierarchy, we cannot say whether the Indus Civilization was a matriarchy or not. As Sharri Clark has pointed out in articles and in her PhD dissertation, the female figurines cannot be defined as being mother-goddesses.
Clark, S. R. (2003). "Representing the Indus body: Sex, gender, sexuality, and the anthropomorphic terracotta figurines from Harappa." Asian Perspectives, 42(2), 304–328.
Clark, S. R. (2005). "In search of the elusive 'mother goddess': A critical approach to the interpretation of Indus terracotta figurines with a focus on Harappa." In C. Jarrige & V. Lefevre (Eds.), South Asian archaeology 2001 (pp. 61–77). Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations-ADPF.
Clark, S. R. (2007a). The social lives of figurines: Recontextualizing the third millennium BC terracotta figurines from Harappa (Pakistan). Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge.
Clark, S. R. (2007b). Bodies of evidence: The case against the “Harappan” mother goddess. In C. Renfrew & I. Morley (Eds.), Image and imagination: A global prehistory of figurative representation (pp. 227–239). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Clark, S.R. (2009) Material Matters: Representation and Materiality of the Harappan Body. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 16: 231-261.
Clark, S. R. (in press). The social lives of figurines: Recontextualizing the third millennium BC terracotta figurines from Harappa (Pakistan). Oxford: Oxbow Books.