Ancient Indus Civilization Blog

335 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 25, 2014
Painted and unpainted burial pottery from Harappa. The two largest vessels were found in the same burial and are described below. The other smaller vessels were found in an earlier burial and represent an older style of pottery.
Aug 23, 2014
The origins of Indus writing can now be traced as far back as the Ravi Phase (c. 3300-2800 BCE) at Harappa. Some inscriptions were made on the bottom of the pottery before firing. Other inscriptions such as this one were made after firing. This inscription (c.
Aug 21, 2014
John Marshall writes about one of the greatest of Indus finds, "the jewelry illustrated ... was found in the silver vessel illustrated on the right of the plate, which was unearthed by Mr.
Aug 19, 2014
Among the tragedies of partition was the literal breaking apart of one of the finest necklaces from Mohenjo-daro, with half going to India and half to Pakistan.
Aug 13, 2014
A molded tablet from Mohenjo-daro ca. 2300 BCE, below while above, flat bottomed ferry boats are still used today to help travelers cross the Indus River near Mohenjo-daro.
Aug 8, 2014
Gold and agate ornaments includes objects found at both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. At the top are fillets of finely burnished hammered gold that would have been worn around the forehead.
Aug 5, 2014
The body may have been wrapped in a shroud, and was then placed inside a wooden coffin, which was entombed in a rectangular pit surrounded with burial offerings in pottery vessels.
Jul 31, 2014
J.M. Kenoyer describes it as a "square seal with animal whose multiple-heads include three important totemic animals: the bull, the unicorn, the antelope. All three animals appear individually on other seals along with script, but this seal has no script.
Jul 29, 2014
The earliest settlement, during Period 1 (c. 3300-2800 BC), was on the west side of Mound AB and NW corner of Mound E. During Period 2 (c. 2800-2600 BC) all of Mounds AB and E came to be occupied, and by the end of Period 3 (c.
Faience beads of different shapes and colors were found in the bead pot. Some of these appear to be imitations of the natural stones; deep azure blue lapis lazuli, blue-green turquoise and banded to imitate banded agate.
Jul 26, 2014
A single bead pot with a private collection of 133 beads from about 1700 BCE found at Harappa in 1996. This amazing find included beads from all phases of Harappan occupation, in carnelian, faience, and even an unknown type of crystalline rock. See also
Jul 23, 2014
A recreation of an ancient Indus trader using weights to weigh goods (left, by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer), cubical weights in graduated sizes from Allahdino (top right) and Harappa (bottom right). These weights conform to the standard Harappan binary weight system
The multiple-strand belt on some of the female figurines is often accompanied by a plain short "skirt". The applied decorations on the belt may represent beads or other decorations. Approximate dimensions (W x H x D): 3.8 x 7.3 x 2.0 cm. (Photograph by Richard H. Meadow)
Jul 20, 2014
At the peak of the Indus Civilization (Period 3, 2600-1900 BCE), the most common dress for female figurines was the belt and/or short skirt usually situated at the same point on the hips as the figurine’s hands, shown in these two terra cotta figurines found
Images show a figure strangling two tigers with his bare hands.
Jul 17, 2014
In color is a seal, in black and white two seals and corresponding sealings made from them (Joshi and Parpola, Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions, Vol. 1, M 306-8). Mark Kenoyer writes that "discoveries of this motif on seals from Mohenjo-daro definitely
Jul 14, 2014
It is unknown whether elephants were domesticated in the Indus Civilization. However, one of the few elephant figurines from Harappa is a head with large stylized ears and red and white stripes painted across the face.
A drinking glass with finely polished exterior surface and sparkling internal crystal facet.
Jul 10, 2014
Mark Kenoyer writes: "One famous stone vessel found at Mohenjo-daro is a tall glass with concave sides that is similar in shape to ritual columns found in Balochistan and Afghanistan.