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Ancient Indus civilization articles which can be downloaded and read as PDF files from this site.

Pottery Firing Structures (Kilns) of the Indus Civilization During the Third Millennium B.C.

Kiln at Harapaa

This paper illustrates the different types of technology that was used for firing pottery and terracotta objects in the greater Indus region in the third milliennium B.C.E. Using excavation data from the Kachi Plain (Mehrgarh, Lal Shah and Naushoro), Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, Miller develops a classification for the range of firing structures and technologies.

Symbols of Dilmun’s royal house – a primitive system of communication adopted from the late Indus world?

Perhaps some of the best clues to deciphering Indus seals may lie in the Arabian Gulf, where inscribed seals seem to have arrived and taken root just as they disappeared in Indus cities around 2000 BCE. "The Harappan sealing tradition, however, continued in Dilmun long after it had vanished from the Indian subcontinent and lived a vibrant life of its own," writes Steffen Laursen.

The westward transmission of Indus Valley sealing technology: origin and development of the ‘Gulf Type’ seal and other administrative technologies in Early Dilmun, c.2100–2000 BC

A very interesting and informative article that starts bringing the adjacent ancient state of Dilmun on the Arabian Gulf (many of the finds have been in present day Bahrain) to light, and what must have been a very rich trade and cultural relationship with ancient Indus cities.

The paste plaques and cylinders of Chanhudaro: A descriptive report

As part of his 1935-36 excavation report on Chanhudaro, Ernest Mackay has a section on "Paste Plaques and Cylinders," two types of objects that were made of the same material, and were found in large quantities and occurring together across the excavated area of Mound II. The material was "...white, porous...with a texture like a fine pumice but sufficiently friable to be scraped away easily with the finger nail."

The Harappan Unicorn in Eurasian and South Asian perspectives

"My conclusion," writes the Indus script scholar Asko Parpola, "is that the Indian Rsyasrnga legend goes back to the Harappan religion, where the unicorn bull depicted on thousands of seals has a real local animal, the nilgai antelope, called rsya in Sanskrit. His single horn, the length of which is exaggerated, has a phallic connotation and emphasizes the importance of this animal as a symbol of fertility."

First Evidence of Cotton at Neolithic Mehrgarh, Pakistan

Mehrgarh is the gift that keeps on giving to archaeologists, this time as the location with the oldest known cotton in the Indian subcontinent. Pushing back the origin of major crops, like rice recently, or silk previously, suggests that while some agricultural practices may have spread east to the Indus valley, others, like rice and perhaps cotton and crops that could rotate with other crops may have spread westwards from the Indus region.

Associations and Ideologies in the Locations of Urban Craft Production at Harappa, Pakistan (Indus Civilization)

Bridging crafts - faience

In this article, Heather Miller explains how looking at craft production location with respect to civic organization provides insights into possible associations between crafts, as well as general Indus attitudes toward the placement of manufacturing within city centers.

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