Ancient Indus Civilization Blog

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.
Dec 12, 2012
Miniature mask from Mohenjo-daro of bearded horned deity. The face is made from a mold and thumb impressions from pressing the clay are visible on the back. The mouth is somber and the long almond shaped eyes are open.
Dec 9, 2012
A unique mold-made faience tablet or standard was found in the eroded levels west of the tablet workshop in Trench 54 at Harappa in 2000. On one side is a narrative scene with two bulls fighting under a thorny tree.
Dec 1, 2012
Reconstructed bird cage found at Harappa in 1999. On the other side it has a slot for a terracotta door, but no top was found. The exterior was decorated with red slip and black paint. See also Broken Terra Cotta Bird Cage and Bird Whistle.
Nov 16, 2012
Topography of the ancient site of Harappa, including smaller mound in the top right still settled today, by Bill Belcher. See also Mark Kenoyer's comprehensive article The Ancient City of Harappa.
Nov 14, 2012
Black steatite wig from late Period 3C deposits in Trench 43 found at Harappa.
Nov 10, 2012
Another skeleton from Harappa, this from Marshall's excavations published in 1931. He writes: "At Harappa several examples of this mode of sepulture [complete inhumation], which are unquestionably orthodox, have already been exposed in the lower stratum of
Nov 5, 2012
A carnelian bead found at Harappa artificially colored with white lines and circles using a special bleaching technique developed by the ancient Indus inhabitants. For more information read Kenoyer and Vidale's paper Carnelian Bead Production in Khambat,
Oct 24, 2012
Fragments of a grooved red sandstone object or objects were found in the upper disturbed levels at Harappa.
Oct 21, 2012
Pedestaled vessels, such as this hand-built painted bowl-on-stand of the Ravi Phase found at Harappa, appear to be the predecessors of a vessel form that becomes more common during the later Kot Diji and main Harappan Phases. See also Indus Pointed Base
Oct 20, 2012
Flakes of various shades of agate, carnelian, jasper, chert, and lapis lazuli indicate the range of raw materials being processed in this part of the Harappa during the pre-Indus Ravi phase (3300-2800 BCE). All of these raw materials were brought to the site
Oct 15, 2012
An unusual male figurine found at Harappa with a fan shaped headdress and choker around the neck may be a representation of alternative gender in the ancient Indus civilization. These are usually characteristic of female figurines. For more on Masculinity, see
Oct 7, 2012
Sealing from Mohenjo-daro depicting a collection of animals and some script symbols. This terra cotta sealing may have been used in specific rituals as a narrative token that tells the story of an important myth. See also Rare Three Animal Seal from
Oct 3, 2012
Three female figurines with painted fan-shaped headdresses from Harappa. Could these headdresses have represented black hair stretched over a frame of bamboo or other material? See also Gender and the Indus People: An Unusual Male Figurine and Harappan Female
Sep 23, 2012
Beautiful strand of Pre-Indus Ravi Phase (3300-2800 BCE) beads of terra cotta, carnelian, amazonite and lapus lazuli found at Harappa. For more, read Mark Kenoyer's Bead Technologies at Harappa, 3300-1900 BC: A Comparative Study.
Jun 24, 2012
This Late Harappan piece has a hole in the center that may have been used for a ritual purpose. This piece resembles the Pedestal Vessel. For more on death and burial, see Painted Burial Pottery.