Ancient Indus Valley Civilization Books

115 new and classic books on the ancient Indus civilization, from exhibition catalogues to excavation reports to fiction, the scientific, the interesting, the creative.

Current Research in Indus Archaeology

A recent publication by the South Asia Research Group at Kansai University in Japan that includes detailed essays covering a general picture of Indus research today (by Akinori Uesugi), Indus civilization in the Ghaggar Basin (Vivek Dangi) , Indus archaeology in Gujarat (Rajesh S.V.), steatite style variations between Gujarat and the Ghaggar-Hakra Basin (Gregg Jamison) and Indus copper wares (Takekazu Nagae).

Time Pieces: A Whistle-Stop Tour of Ancient India

A delightful romp through 10 themes in ancient India by a smart and engaging writer who knows her Indus civilization history and all that which followed. These brief essays give some sense of how engaging history can be in the hands of a good writer, not afraid to take risks and push material politically and theoretically while keeping her feet on the ground.

Early Indians : The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From

There is so much going on in DNA studies – even if pre-figured by linguistic studies – that having a solid guide to stitch it all together, including papers that landed with a giant thud in 2018, would be so very, very nice. Someone who could put it together for the layman or intelligent observer who finds it hard to sort through headlines and the latest pronouncements (and simplifications).

Seals and Sealing in the Ancient World

Case Studies from the Near East, Egypt, the Aegean, and South Asia

Finally, the book we have long – decades, in fact – been waiting for, a comprehensive view of seals and sealings in the ancient world, from the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley. This has been essential because, as the authors argue from the very start, seals were social objects.

Harappan Archaeology: Early State Perspectives

Shereen Ratnagar is one of the most important theoreticians of the Indus valley civilization and its archaeological practice. Book reviewer and author, Sudeshna Guha notes in her review of Early State Perspectives, "Through her earlier research, Ratnagar had shown that the political system of statehood possibly provided the Harappan Civilization its distinctive cultural form."

Dilmun

There is a dearth of ancient Indus-based fiction in English; there are even fewer works in Hindi or Urdu. Yakoob Yawar's Dilmun is among the very few exceptions (indeed, it was the second novel ever to be set in the ancient Indus civilization, 50 years after the Hindi Murdon ka Teela by Rangeya Raghava).

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States

Once in a while a book comes along that so radically shifts your perspective and ways of thinking about a complex subject that it can only be called breathtaking. Against the Grain A Deep History of the Earliest States (2017), by Yale Agrarian Studies Professor James C. Scott is one such book.

Looking for Dilmun

Geoffrey Bibby was a Cambridge-educated oil executive, who got caught up, against-all-odds, with the tiny Danish Prehistoric Museum of Aarhus, with barely any resources, that nonetheless has emerged as a powerhouse in ancient Dilmun studies, thanks in part to Bibby's initial efforts.

The Curse of Mohenjodaro

"Unputdownable," according to noted contemporary Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie, this is a well-written, engaging story that switches back and forth between a modern excavation of Mohenjodaro and a storyline set in 3700 BCE, connected through a bloodstone with supernatural powers that, in the right hands, transcends time.

A Companion to South Asia in the Past

Over 500 pages of great insight and new data reveals the quiet and powerful role of bioarchaeology in Indus studies. Bioarchaeology is by one of its first practitioners, as "the reconstructions of past people's lives based on a multidisciplinary analysis of archaeological human remains. Bioarchaeology is one of the few fields of inquiry that emphasizes integration of three subdiscipines of anthropology: biological anthropology, archaeology, and sociocultural anthropology."

Marshalling the Past: Ancient India and its Modern Histories

Nayanjot Lahiri Essays

This anthology of thirteen essays by Nayanjot Lahiri combines twenty years of scholarship on various topics related to the historiography of ancient India. Using her training as an archaeologist, and an extensive experience with archival material, Lahiri marshalls a wide and disparate set of materials into an accessible and compelling assemblage that is supported by rigorous research.

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