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.
Nov 27, 2014
This set of steatite disc beads found at Harappa, each about 1 cm in diameter, were found in a Kot Diji phase (ca. 2800-2600 BCE) street and appear to be a necklace segment that was lost in the trash. The manufacturing marks are clearly visible.
Laboratory assistants Mohammad Naim, Shokat Ali, Said Ahmed, and Mukthar Massih carry the cleaned and conserved ringstone to the Harappa Museum for display.
Nov 25, 2014
Ringstones are among the most fascinating of ancient Indus objects, particularly after recent research has shown some of those at Harappa to have originally been manufactured near Dholavira and then transported some 1,000 kilometers north.
Nov 18, 2014
The impressions of a pipal leaf found in the upper clay levels of a drain in Harappa, shown here with a modern pipal leaf, indicate that what many think was a sacred tree even at that time was growing in the ancient city of Harappa.
In the center is miniature mask of horned deity with human face and bared teeth of a tiger. A large mustache or divided upper lip frames the canines, and a flaring beard adds to the effect of rage. The eyes are defined as raised lumps that may have originally been painted. Short feline ears contrast with two short horns similar to a bull rather than the curving water buffalo horns. Two holes on either side allow the mask to be attached to a puppet or worn as an amulet.
Nov 10, 2014
Indus Tigers found at Harappa in recent years, often anthropomorphized. "The most dangerous animals living in the vicinity of the Indus cities were tigers and leopards.
Oct 12, 2014
Image niche and stairway to left ascending to platform of stupa at Mohenjo-daro, modern shot and Bison Seal (ca. 2500 BCE). "This image niche is 7 feet deep by 4 ft.
Oct 10, 2014
Indus pointed base goblets from Mohenjo-daro. Found only in the largest cities and towns, these cups appear to have been used once and then tossed away, as is the case with disposable terra cotta cups in the cities of Pakistan and India today.
Oct 1, 2014
HR Area, Lane 2, looking east with Block 2 on the left (late 1920's). The streets and alleyways wind through the neighborhood and are usually oriented along a strict grid plan, one of the most remarkable features of this four and half thousand year old city.
Sep 28, 2014
This unique discovery of a coiled copper-alloy wire necklace (H2000/2242-01) dating to Harappa period 3B (circa 2450-2200 BC) is the earliest evidence for silk in South Asia. It has traces of fibers preserved on the inside.
Sep 17, 2014
A perfect unicorn seal found in Trench 49E, Harappa. The craftsmanship and balance of the three fish signs, the arrow and two strokes with the so-called unicorn's head and sacred relic is remarkable. Excavations in 1997 at the southeast corner of the Mound F
Possible granary in Harappa
Sep 11, 2014
Although there is no evidence to suggest that Mound F at Harappa or the "granary" at Mohenjo-daro (illustrated above) actually were granaries, this theory by archaeologists like Sir Mortimer Wheeler has taken hold in the public imagination.
Sep 8, 2014
The phantasm by Sir Mortimer Wheeler (Image 1) , a diagram of the structure by John Marshall (Image 2), photographs by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer and Richard H (Image 3 and 4). The basic function of this structure on Mound F - there is also one in Mohenjo-daro -
This view along Drain [8] into the mound shows details of the brick construction, the robbed out area at the east end of the drain (background), sloping strata above indicating the existence of an open street drain along the same line as the earlier baked brick drain, and the later Period 3C architecture built after the open drain was filled in and the area leveled. The bricks from the eastern part of the drain were robbed by tunneling into the sediment along the line of the drain from the East.
Sep 6, 2014
A portion of a large brick drain excavated at Harappa that survived the brick robbers. Dating to about 2400-2200 BCE, it was later filled in and the area leveled.
Sep 3, 2014
"Originally, the site of Mohenjo-daro must have been much more extensive than it is today and have formed a more closely connected whole, but water and wind, aided by the action of salt in the soil and the extreme aridity of the climate, have combined to eat
Sep 2, 2014
Large square unicorn sealing (left) and seal from Mohenjo-daro. The unicorn is the most common motif on Indus seals and appears to represent a mythical animal that Greek and Roman sources trace back to the Indian subcontinent.
Aug 28, 2014
From the southern steps of the Great Bath showing recesses for wooden treads and stairways to platforms of some among the 700 wells in Mohenjo-daro, glimpses of where the ancient Indus people trod every day. "A curious feature of the two stairways leading