Selected results of current research on specialized crafts at the early urban center of Harappa, Pakistan. Many crafts such as shell working, ceramics, and agate and glazed steatite bead making are represented form the earliest levels of the site and continue up to the final phase of prehistoric occupation.
Harappa Site Plan
Until quite recently, the common view of the Indus Civilization has been as a phenomenon largely undifferentiated in space and time over more than 500,000 sq km and the 500 to 700 years of its existence (2600/2500-2000/1900 B.C.). With continuing archaeological work throughout
AIthough the presence of a specialized shell industry and the widespread use of shell are well documented at sites of the Indus Civilization (2500-1750 B.C.), the early stages of this industry were not known until recent excavations at the site of Mehrgarh, Pakistan.
A wide variety of faience ornaments including beads, bangles and jewelry have been retrieved from the major ancient cities of Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Chanhudaro, located in Pakistan.
The assemblage recovered during excavation of the Acheulian Ziarat Pir Shaban site comprises 29,047 artifacts, instruments, cores and hammerstones included. These data confirm the presence of a Late Palaeolithic workshop on site.
The author focuses primarily on economic interaction networks and specialised crafts to show how they can provide a window on the other changes that may have been occurring.
In addition to the overall objective of obtaining new information on the cultural and structural development of Harappa, other specific questions investigated include the development of civic organization and control, occupational specialization, and social stratification.
This paper discusses some theoretical questions and present some observations on the role of ethnoarchaeological studies of craft production in contemporary stratified social contexts, in the study of protohistoric societies.
The origins and character of the Indus urban phenomenon, presenting current interpretations but not burdening the nonspecialist with ceramic sequences and other details.
The author's research on the understanding of specialized crafts and the trade/exchange between rural and urban sites combined with his recent ethnoarchaeological studies has led him to question some of the generalizations that are prevalent about craft specialization and socio-economic organization of the Indus Civilization.
Defining specialized crafts in Indus cities and the methodologies needed for studying crafts in an archaeological context.
Findings from the third season of research by the University of California, Berkeley, project at Harappa, conducted from January 1 to mid-April 1988.
New studies are revealing the complexity and unique character of this protohistoric urban society that were not appreciated by earlier scholars.
Recent studies of the Indus Civilization and the developments that preceded it during the Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic in the Indus Valley and Baluchistan are revealing many new aspects of human culture in South Asia.
Curry is the anglicization of the common Hindustani word tarkiiri,, meaning "green vegetable." Cooked vegetables (and some times even meat) are occasionally called tarkari, but this word never appears on an Indian menu.
Although shell objects may seem relatively insignificant compared to other categories of objects, such as seals or sculpture, a detailed study of shell objects and shell working has revealed important aspects of trade and craft specialization in the Indus Civilization.
Major species of marine mollusca used in the shell industry are discussed in detail and possible ancient shell source areas are identified. Variations in shell artifacts within and between various urban, rural and coastal sites are presented as evidence for specialized production, hierarchical internal trade networks and regional interaction spheres.
Recent explorations in the peripheral regions east of the Indus valley have established the spread of Harappan culture to settlements in Kutch, Saurashtra, Rajasthan and Harayana, but there has been much speculation on the reasons behind this cultural expansion.
By determining the ancient source areas for shells, we can gain a new perspective on the trade networks and the exploitations of marine resources by protohistoric coastal populations.
Although some have their doubts about religious interpretations for what they call "esoteric archaeological finds,' nevertheless it is stated in this article that there is a very strong probability that the structure and the stone represent a shrine to the goddess, or female principle, 'Shakti,' which was built by the group of final upper palaeolithic hunter/gatherers who were living at the site of Baghor I.
Balakot is one of four known ancient coastal sites in Pakistan dating to the period of South Asia's earliest civilization -- the Harappan (or Indus) -- that flourished in the centuries just before and after 2000 B.C.
This paper summarizes the state of drilling research and defines two categories of drills that were used in antiquity: tapered cylindrical drills and constricted cylindrical drills. Directions for future research on the relationship between drilling and other contemporaneous technologies are also discussed.
A brief overview of the major cultural traditions of the Indus region is presented along with a discussion of the current state of research on the most ancient textiles used by ancient peoples of this region.
The early use and gradual development of wheeled vehicles at the site of Harappa, Pakistan to better understand the role of carts in the process of urban development.
Through a comparative study of the artifacts, pottery, architecture, faunal, and botanical remains of Harappa, an increasingly sophisticated view is obtained of the complex and dynamic political, ideological, and economic processes that were an integral part of Harappan urban society.
Ras Gadani and Phuari were surveyed in the 2000s by the Italian Archaeological Mission in Las Bela and Lower Sindh. The discovery of a few sites on the two headlands has shown the importance of the Las Bela coast for the archaeology of the northern Arabian Sea.
A refutation of some of the so-called "factoids" about the ancient Indus Civilization, from an Aryan invasion to the violent overrunning of Mohenjo-daro in an essay that describes the various cultural and societal systems that underlie this Bronze Age culture.
The author discusses how study of bead manufacture and the changing styles of beaded ornaments are important methods for investigating the social and economic development of Harappan society.
A recent essay on the structural design of signs in the Indus script by experts at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.