Ancient Indus Valley Civilization Articles

348 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.

Lithic Blade Implements and their Role in the Harappan Chalcolithic Cultural Development in Gujarat

Lithic (stone) tools were the machine tools of the Bronze Age. This very well-written article shows how "the study of stylistic difference and technological continuities and discontinuities observed in lithic assemblages at ancient sites can provide important new information regarding the spread and development of Harappan Civilization as well as about other regional Chalcolithic cultures."

The Origins of the Indus Civilization

As Dr. Rafique Mughal leads the first major excavation at the site of Ganweriwala in the Cholistan desert – an exceptionally exciting development in ancient Indus archaeology – it is well worth reviewing his earlier papers, many of which were published in Pakistani archaeological journals forty or more years ago.

Semantic scope of Indus inscriptions comprising taxation, trade and craft licensing, commodity control and access control: archaeological and script-internal evidence

The author brings together a great deal of information to argue that "inscribed stamp-seals were primarily used for enforcing certain rules involving taxation, trade/craft control, commodity control and access control," and in relating stamp seals and tablets, that "such tablets were possibly trade/craft/commodity-specific licenses issued to tax-collectors, traders, and artisans," (p. 1).

Indus Valley: Early Commercial Connections with Central and Western Asia

A must-read paper for those fascinated by the extensive trade networks that the ancient Indus civilization was integrated with. Infused with the latest research from the many regions in question, it summarizes and delves into the evidence of people, texts, animals, minerals and plants to seals and weights, pottery, stone, metal and ivory objects, statues, games and toys and more.

Lakheen-Jo-Daro, an Indus Civilization Settlement at Sukkur in Upper Sindh (Pakistan): A Scrap Copper Hoard and Human Figurine from a Dated Context

We know so little about so many Indus sites, including ones that are buried beneath modern cities and may never be discovered. One such potentially large settlement is Lakheen-Jo-Daro, sometimes also called Lakhan Jo Daro, bits of which have been found in and around the modern city of Sukkur, Sindh, on the Indus River, just across the monumental chert deposits in the Rohri Hills.

Recurring summer and winter droughts from 4.2-3.97 thousand years ago in north India

This highly technical and scientific paper brings together all the recent evidence from Dharamjali Cave in the Himalayas over a 230 year period around 2000 BCE, when the ancient Indus civilization was in decline, to show "that repeated intensely dry periods spanned multiple generations. The record highlights the deficits in winter and summer rainfall during the urban phase of the Indus Civilization, which prompted adaptation through flexible, self- reliant, and drought-resistant agricultural strategies."

Forgotten Islands of the Past: The Archaeology of the Northern Coast of the Arabian Sea

The author, who has been working in the larger region for decades exploring the long history of human habitation and industry going back tens of thousands of years, turns his attention to the geographic changes in the Indus delta region through the Bronze Age and what recent work shows us were the curious "islands" that once existed in lower Sindh (Dholavira, in Gujarat, is another example of such a later settlement).

What Lay Beneath: Queen Puabi’s Garments and Her Passage to the Underworld

"The reconstruction of Puabi fully adorned provides insights into the fabric that lay beneath the sumptuous ornaments. The queen’s spectacular accessories, though important, have diverted our attention away from the cloth that lay beneath the eye-catching ornaments, which deteriorated (or de-materialized) long ago and so has been mostly invisible to us in the present day."

Guabba, the Meluhhan Village in Mesopotamia

Until Dr. Vermaak's paper (2008), no one had connected the known existence of a Meluhhan village in the Girsu/Lagash area with Guabba; the availability of more texts since the first connections were made by scholars like Asko Parpola allowed him to both locate it more precisely and tease out a number of other references that give us some sense of what these people did and were known for.

Heterarchic Powers in the Ancient Indus Cities

This thoughtful and enlightening paper starts with a clear statement of the writer's point-of-view: "On the other hand, to keep writing that Indus society in the 3rd millennium BC was uniform, acephalous, egalitarian and classless, that it was not a state, that its people rejected violence, elites

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