The seal that the publicity emblem (above) for the film Mohenjo Daro is actually based on (below) offers the opportunity to look at one of the most unresolved issues in ancient Indus studies: what was the so-called one-horned unicorn, and where did it come
323 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.
Aug 20, 2016
A wide-ranging interview with one of our ancient Indus scholars, author and archaeologist Shereen Ratnagar.
Aug 20, 2016
"On another seal, No. 510 [in Mackay], a buffalo appears to have attacked a number of people who are lying on the ground around him in every conceivable attitude," writes the excavator Ernest Mackay.
Aug 15, 2016
Will the movie Mohenjo Daro open the floodgates of popular interest in the ancient Indus civilization? What do you think? Twenty-one years into running Harappa.com, the release of Mohenjo Daro is a landmark for interest in the subject (traffic in the last few days has doubled to five thousand people a day).
Aug 13, 2016
1. A clay sealing from the Harappa Phase levels (2600-1900 BCE) that may have come from a large bundle of goods shipped to the site from a distant region.
Aug 12, 2016
Mohenjo-daro has been called the "city of wells." Mark Kenoyer writes: "On the basis of the number of wells found in the excavated areas, Michael Jansen has calculated that the city may have had over 700 wells.
Aug 6, 2016
An interesting story in light of all the speculation about water issues at the same time, roughly 1900 BCE, in the ancient Indus valley. There was possibly a trading relationship with ancient China. Water, too little or too much, must have been a factor in the rise and fall of Bronze Age civilizations.
Aug 6, 2016
A revealing story about Rakigarhi highlights how, like in the case of Mohenjo-daro, the challenges of preserving ancient Indus cities even after they are discovered, remain enormous.
Aug 5, 2016
Discarded ancient Indus sherds, after archaeologists have sifted through them and cleaned them. This pottery debris from excavations at Harappa covers hundreds - if not a thousand – years of habitation, far longer a period than say modern times.
Jul 29, 2016
A nice piece on students on replicating Harappan techniques in Wisconsin in 2016 with Mark Kenoyer shows how much we have to learn about the complexity of ancient manufacturing.
Jul 23, 2016
"Astronomy, including the use of a star calendar, played an important role in ancient Mesopotamia, and deeply influenced its religion: all the main gods were symbolized by particular stars or planets.
Jul 17, 2016
Lots if interesting stuff here, including "It had been widely assumed that these first farmers were from a single, genetically homogeneous population."
Jul 15, 2016
In connection with the recent post about Indus discoveries in Oman, we note that the archaeologist who discovered the first definitive evidence of Bronze Age trade between Balochistan and the Gulf, Beatrice de Cardi, just died at the age of 102. She worked with Sir Mortimer Wheeler who lent her "his foreman, Sadar Din, a minor official of the Pakistani Archaeological Department who, despite being illiterate, had an extraordinarily retentive memory for archaeological sites and taught her what to look for. Together they located some 47 archaeological sites . . .."
Jul 14, 2016
One of the least explored avenues in ancient Indus research, one which would so clearly reinforce the available evidence for the long, deep local roots of Indus civilization stretching back deep into the Stone Age (25,000-30,000 years back).