"Flint was the most important raw material exploited by the third millennium BCE Bronze Age inhabitants of the Indus Valley and its related territories." This uncompromising statement by a scholar and field researcher who has been working in the region for decades offers a window on what must
Very little is known about the subcontinent's history hundreds of thousands of years ago, say 300,000-30,000 years ago, which would have been the Middle Paleolithic period for example, except for small clues left at places like the Rohri chert (flint) mines and along the Indus in Sindh and else
Italian archaeologists have been critical to unearthing the distant human past in Sindh and Balochistan for many years.
"The scope of this paper is to update and discuss the available evidence for prehistoric fishing along the Arabian Sea coasts of the Sultanate of Oman, Las Bela and Sindh in Pakistan," write the authors. By prehistoric they mean going back to at least the 7th millennium BCE (7000-6000 BCE).
It has really only been since the 1980s that a more comprehensive picture of the wide and deep roots of Indus civilization in the larger Sindh and Balochistan region have become apparent. Mehrgarh did not spring out of nowhere but was embedded in a region where fishing, shell collecting, flint mining and other crafts were present and flourishing at different times.
The authors write that "the discovery of a knapped stone assemblage with microlithic backed tools and geometrics represents a groundbreaking point for the prehistory of Punjab. It opens new research perspectives in a promising territory that had never been explored before, where surveys are undoubtedly to be continued in the future because of its great potential."
This paper reviews the work done since the early 1970s east of Karachi along the Makran coast, containing what were once extensive mangrove areas (where salt and fresh water meet to create unique habitats).
Another important summary paper by Paolo Biagi reprises all the discoveries made by Italian teams in Sindh and Balochistan that have upended our understanding of pre and neighbouring areas to the Indus civilization.
The Mesolithic Settlement of Sindh (Pakistan): New Evidence from the Khadeji River Course, an article by Paolo Biagi is another piece of the puzzle of habitation in the Indus delta long before the ancient Indus civilization.
A very important recent exposition of one of the most important underlying elements – used to make fire, crucial items like weights and much else – of ancient Indus civilization and its connection to, in particular the Rohri Hills.