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.
Jan 6, 2017
Mohenjo Daro is unique because it is the first cinematic release featuring this ancient city. In Hollywood and western cinema, there are many dramatisations on ancient Egypt which was contemporary to the Indus Valley Civilisation. In the Indian film industry however, movies do not go earlier than the time of the Buddha or mythological eras. Indeed, the last Hindi language film set in ancient South Asia was probably Asoka back in 2001.
Jan 3, 2017
On a recent visit to London, I decided to have another look at the British Museum's handful of Indus objects. They are usually displayed – with little celebration, given their importance, like the first seal ever found at Harappa . . .
Dec 31, 2016
With best wishes from, on Facebook since 2008. We added 30,000 page followers this year, almost a hundred added, two dozen lost each day. Nadine Zubair joined as Assistant Editor, helping to cover many Indus towns and areas usually not well understood.
Dec 28, 2016
It is not unlikely that ascetics, both men and women who had renounced their possessions and lived off of the land or the generosity of donors, wandered about between the Indus towns and villages. In later periods there are textual references to similar ascetics associated with various religious traditions. In Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Islamic/Sufi traditions, men and women, often in the later stages of life, renounced their possessions to focus on spiritual thought and service.
Dec 26, 2016
More interesting discoveries at Binjor, seven kilometers from the Pakistan border in the bed of the ancient Sarasvati River. Archaeologists have "come across signs of industrial activity going back at least 4500 years," including "over 100 hearths." Concentrated industrial or craft activity at a smaller site has once again been found during the ancient Indus period.
Dec 10, 2016
Rehman Dheri is one of the earliest planned urban sites found in South Asia to date. The site was first explored in 1971 by Professor Ahmad Hassan Dani and excavated by Professor Farzand Ali Durrani from the University of Peshawar from 1976 to 1982, and again in 1991.
Nov 28, 2016
One of the most exciting discoveries of the year: a detailed, full-field photoluminescence study of a 6,000 year old copper "wheel" amulet from Mehrgarh in Balochistan has opened the door to many new facts about this period of history.
Nov 26, 2016
There are some seals with clear Indus themes among Dept. of Near Eastern Antiquities collections at the Louvre in Paris, France, among them the Cylinder Seal of Ibni-Sharrum, described as "one of the most striking examples of the perfection attained by carvers in the Agade period [2350–2170 BCE].
Nov 21, 2016
Latest research on archaeological sites of the ancient Indus Civilisation, which stretched across what is now Pakistan and northwest India during the Bronze Age, has revealed that domesticated rice farming in South Asia began far earlier than previously believed.
Nov 6, 2016
"The Harappans are referred to as a Bronze Age culture," writes Vasant Shinde, "and they used copper and bronze to manufacture axes, adzes, knives, fish hooks, chisels, pots and pans and jewelry in form of bangles, beads, or diadem strips.
Nov 4, 2016
Dholavira is a Harappan site located in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. This 47 hectares (120 acres) quadrangular city is one of the largest mature Harappan sites. The site was occupied from ca. 2650 BCE, declining slowly after about 2100 BCE.
Oct 29, 2016
A clever piece by Soity Banerjee uses the modern era to ask some good questions and interrogate the many layers of evidence for what may have brought down the ancient Indus civilization.
Oct 29, 2016
"Inside the major blocks, the streets [of Mohenjo-daro] are not well-aligned. There are many doglegs and some deadends.
Oct 23, 2016
On a recent trip to New York, I was able to get away for an afternoon to explore the ancient Indus collection at that battleship of a museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found the Indus collection split between two rooms, 234 in the Asian Art and 403 in the Ancient Near Eastern Art sections, with a nice long walk in between.
Oct 17, 2016
It is hard to underestimate the importance of the wheel to ancient Indus civilization. All indications are that it was an indigenous development, pursued in flat agricultural areas, and probably preceded that other great wheel - pardon the pun - of change, the potter's wheel.