Ancient Indus Valley Civilization Articles

304 peer-reviewed articles from leading journals about the latest discoveries about the ancient Indus civilization, its antecedents and contemporaries in the Persian Gulf and Mesopotamia, during the Bronze Age 3500-1700 BCE by the world's ancient Indus archaeologists and scholars.

Indus Script and Indus Culture

A succinct summary of some of the features and nature of the ancient Indus script by three Indian scholars who have spent a great part of their careers investigating it. Presented at the International Conference on Indus Script at Mohenjo Daro in January 2020, points are listed as clear statements that can help others puzzled by the script, or who wish to attempt or consider other approaches to "deciphering" the script.

Early agriculture in South Asia

A superb chapter from Cambridge Histories Online of the very complicated development of agriculture in the subcontinent, which is really the story of four different developments, in the northwest (including the Indus valley), north (the Gangetic plains), south and east, each with different timelines, crops and animal husbandry to account for.

Preliminary Results of Excavation at Karanpura, a Harappan Settlement in District Hanumangarh, Rajasthan

The results of two seasons of excavations 2012-2014 at a small site to the west of Rakigarhi in Rajasthan, on the modern River Chautang (Drishdavati). Largely destroyed by irrigation construction a few years previously – "it can now be assessed that at least 70% of the fortified settlement was destroyed" write the authors (p. 16) – Karanpura has nevertheless yielded an impressive set of artifacts from about 2800-2000 BCE.

Social change at the Harappan settlement of Gola Dhoro: a reading from animal bones

"A detailed analysis of the animal bone assemblage at Gola Dhoro here throws light on the expansion of the Indus civilisation into Gujarat. A square fort, imposed on a settlement of livestock herders in the later third millennium BC, was shown to have contained people who introduced a broader diet of meat and seafood, and new ways of preparing it. These social and dietary changes were coincident with a surge in craft and trade."

Indus Administrative Technology - New Insights on Harappan Stamp Seals and their Impressions on Clay Tags

A richly illustrated slide journey through seals and sealings, how and why they were used in other ancient civilizations, and primarily what we might know and deduce about their use in ancient Indus cities. Dennys Frenez has been studying a large group of accidentally fired Lothal sealings for many years, and is joined by other distinguished archaeologists in what was originally a symposium on bead and seal technologies at the University of Padua, Italy, in 2019.

Workers in the Night and the Indus Civilization

"The theme of this volume has forced us to consider and grapple with what activities occur at night and how that can be applicable to the archaeological record of the Indus civilization. In doing so we have focused on water and sewage system maintenance, a traditional nighttime activity of the modern world, to demonstrate how the common spaces and activities of maintenance would have constructed a shared sense of belonging for participants and/or imposed shared identities upon them by outside viewers," write the authors.

Bronze Age Glyptics of Eastern Jazmurian, Iran

"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 "Priest-King" at Shahr-i Sokhta?

"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.

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