"Lazurite - the constituent of lapis lazuli that gives the rock its blue color - is a rare mineral in nature," writes Randall Law, and there is likely to have been only one source in the region during ancient times, the Badakhshan mines in Afghanistan.
Online articles on the ancient Indus Valley civilization.
The relationship between ancient Indus centers - which we know best and consider a hallmark of the civilization - and the vast rural "hinterland" that surrounded them is the subject of this lucid paper.
"Recent discoveries of Indus and Indus related materials at sites in the interior, and a general reassessment of comparable materials throughout Oman, suggest a more complex model of
interaction. . . these artefacts probably reflect the presence of small groups of Indus merchants and craftspeople integrated into local communities and directly involved with important socioeconomic activities."
"The recognition of variation and diversity [in the ancient Indus civilization] has encouraged a gradual, though not universally accepted, shift toward the interpretation that certain categories of Indus material acted as ‘a veneer… overlying diverse local and regional cultural expressions'," write the authors.
"Urban society is a highly complex system in terms of its institutions, hierarchy, integration, etc." writes the author. "A vast region is incorporated into one social system which is based on cities."
An interesting article in which the author discusses the existence of Indus-type seals in the Gulf and Mesopotamian regions, their relationship to trade and other civilizations in the area, including the Central Asian Bronze Age civilization now better known as the BMAC (Bactrio-Margiana Archaeological Complex). After carefully reviewing the evidence for Indus settlers in ancient Mesopotamia, and their use Indus-type seals whose signs are ordered in ways not found within the Indus region proper, she discusses the relationships they may still have had with Indus peoples back home and the role of different kinds of writing in this relationship.
The second article of a pair with Mapping Archaeology While Mapping an Empire: Using Historical Maps to Reconstruct Ancient Settlement Landscapes in Modern India and Pakistan. This uses the theoretical techniques developed there with a real world example, the devastating Indus flood of 1909 that led
Science is slowly transforming ancient Indus studies, from DNA analysis of skeletons that point to migration and disease, to isotope analysis that reveals the distant origins of raw materials. One of the cleverest – and potentially rewarding i terms of increasing the number of ancient sites to investigate – must be the use of old maps.
A personal reflection by Richard H. Meadow, Co-Director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project, on working with Mark Kenoyer for over 30 years.