The second article of a pair with Mapping Archaeology While Mapping an Empire: Using Historical Maps to Reconstruct Ancient Settlement Landscapes in Modern India and Pakistan. This uses the theoretical techniques developed there with a real world example, the devastating Indus flood of 1909 that led
Science is slowly transforming ancient Indus studies, from DNA analysis of skeletons that point to migration and disease, to isotope analysis that reveals the distant origins of raw materials. One of the cleverest – and potentially rewarding i terms of increasing the number of ancient sites to investigate – must be the use of old maps.
A recent paper by the late Iravatham Mahadevan and his collaborator M.V. Bhaskar looks at signs in the Indus script that can be related to physical features in the landscape, and how this might play out in terms of interpreting them. A number of interpretations seem to fit together nicely.
"Fish remains from archaeological sites have the capacity to offer a tremendous amount of information on social issues in addition to the more traditional goals of subsistence studies related to procurement strategies and seasonality," writes the author.
A personal reflection by Richard H. Meadow, Co-Director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project, on working with Mark Kenoyer for over 30 years.
Although much about Indus seals remains unknown, the steady application of rigorous, detailed analysis of a kind that earlier excavators could hardly dream of is slowly yielding clues and insights into the organization of work and craft in Indus cities.
Another important summary paper by Paolo Biagi reprises all the discoveries made by Italian teams in Sindh and Balochistan that have upended our understanding of pre and neighbouring areas to the Indus civilization.
The Indus civilization is in so many ways a puzzle wrapped in another puzzle. One of the most challenging with respect to seals are the terracotta seals of the adjacent and contemporaneous Ahar Banas culture.
The Mesolithic Settlement of Sindh (Pakistan): New Evidence from the Khadeji River Course, an article by Paolo Biagi is another piece of the puzzle of habitation in the Indus delta long before the ancient Indus civilization.
An insightful article that focusses on the clues in a seal and set of sixteen tablets found together at Harappa in 1997 to proffer that they may have been economic tokens.
A very important recent exposition of one of the most important underlying elements – used to make fire, crucial items like weights and much else – of ancient Indus civilization and its connection to, in particular the Rohri Hills.
A clever paper looking at how far we have drifted from some of the better ancient Indus ways of living.
An important paper that shows how strontium isotope analysis can help reveal the interactions between and migrations of people in ancient times. The authors write: "Human tooth enamel from Harappa and Ur was analyzed for strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotopes.
A complex meta-analysis of data in a corner of northwestern India for what it can tell us about settlement patterns during the ancient Indus period and just after, when a host of factors, including possibly climate change, seem to have contributed to a re-allocation of populations between types of settlements.
An insufficient number of archaeological surveys has been carried out to date on Harappan Civilization cemeteries. One case in point is the necropolis at Rakhigarhi site (Haryana, India), one of the largest cities of the Harappan Civilization, where most burials within the cemetery remained uninvestigated.
A recent, 95 scientist, massive DNA study that shows how migrants into India from the west and north contributed to local DNA and which aligns with recent analyses on Indo-European languages coming into the subcontinent from the northwest as well.
An exploration of the prevalence and manufacture of a distinctive ornament which persists both in South Asian culture today, and throughout the larger West Asian and Middle Eastern world as well.
The beauty of this paper is that it sets out very clearly the procedure needed to document bead types, the careful measurement and classification steps to start understanding a specific bead tradition.