"Sealing or token with impression made from a unicorn seal with script. The back is smooth and rounded, suggesting that this object was a certificate or pass representing the seal owner and not something attached to a bundle of goods.
338 posts, also carried on our Facebook page, about the ancient Indus Valley civilization, including important news, research and occasional visits to museums with ancient Indus artifacts.
Jan 26, 2021
Nov 3, 2020
A Wide World Photo news agency photograph with the title given above was dated June 4, 1959. The caption, reflecting then popular conceptions like "invaders," was printed on the back: "For three thousand years a great and peaceful civilization has lain
Jul 21, 2020
"This terracotta vessel with a pronounced knob at the centre has engaged the attention of archaeologists as a "unique find" and was probably used in rituals or ceremonies. Similar vessels have been depicted on Harappan seals and copper plates" according to the ASI description of this object found at Bijnor (MSR 4) in 2017.
Jun 19, 2020
A brand new slide show has just been opened featuring objects from Mundigak, a little-known Bronze Age [c. 4000-2400 BCE] set of mounds in southern Afghanistan. The objects are now at the Guimet, the French National Museum of Asian Art in Paris.
Jun 4, 2020
In the summer of 2019, one of the warmest ever in Paris, I managed to slip one afternoon into the Musee Guimet, and click away on my iPhone at objects usually not seen in colour. This French national museum which contains one of the best collections of Asian Art in the world (as one collector of Indian art, Gursharan Sidhu once put it, the French taste in objects from India is second to none).
Apr 27, 2020
Was this disc from Mohenjo-daro at the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi used for counting? The circles with dots in the middle are identical to those found on other ivory objects from Mohenjo-daro thought to have been used as counters.
Jan 16, 2020
Etched carnelian beads are a hallmark of the Harappan phase and copies of them in different materials are found during this period illustrating their value to the people of the Indus Valley Civilization. Examples of this bead type have also been found in Mesopotamia, Iran and the Gulf and it is believed now that all of these may have been manufactured in the Indus Valley.
Jan 14, 2020
A visit to the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi gave me the opportunity to take close shots of four seals from Mohenjo-daro. They show both the exquisite workmanship of Indus craftsmen and the merciless wear, in different degrees, of four thousand years of history.
Dec 17, 2019
On a visit earlier in 2019 to the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi, an iPhone camera was a welcome companion in trying to bring out something of the character of Indus figurines resident within the large glass vitrines.
May 4, 2019
The least excavated of the five large known ancient Indus cities – Mohenjo-daro and Dholavira, Harappa and Rakigarhi – is Ganweriwala, discovered in the late 1980s by Rafique Mughal. Deep in the desert, far from towns and close to the Indian border, it is hardly written about.
Mar 31, 2019
Of all the objects in the National Museum of Pakistan's Indus Gallery in Karachi, none quite so grabs your attention with its innate character as this tiny faience monkey from Mohenjo-daro.
Mar 19, 2019
On a recent visit to Delhi, I found myself free for two hours and made my way in a rickshaw from Jama Masjid to the National Museum. It was a Sunday afternoon. After paying the entrance fee and breathlessly arriving at the Harappan Civilisation doorway, I found that it was closed for renovations! Momentarily dispirited, it turned out that there was another entrance and much of the gallery was still open – disaster averted.
Feb 19, 2019
In the excellent new book The Story of India's Unicorns (Marg, 2018), which is all about the rhinoceros in the subcontinent, Shibani Bose writes in the section Evidence from Indus Sites that what "needs to be explained is the presence, and in cases like Kalibangan, the profusion of rhinoceros remains at some of the major urban sites of the civilization.
Jan 16, 2019
Shereen Ratnagar, in her brand new book The Magic in the Image Women in Clay at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa (soon to be reviewed here) offers an interesting conjecture around a set of male figurines found at the two iconic Indus sites.
Nov 26, 2018
Iravatham Mahadevan, India's leading expert on the Indus script, and Padmashri award winner (2009), sadly passed away on Monday in Chennai. He was 89. His contributions towards the understanding of early Indian and Tamil scripts were unparalleled; he was also an extremely generous contributor to Harappa.com, one whose scholarship was widely recognized internationally.