An exceptionally interesting paper that traces the path of ivory carving from the ancient Indus civilization up north to Gonur Depe in southern Turkmenistan, north of Afghanistan.
Ancient Indus civilization articles which can be downloaded and read as PDF files from this site.
The research carried out in Sindh during the last forty years, and the study of the chipped stone assemblages stored in Karachi University collections, show that Late (Upper) Palaeolithic [50,000-10,000 years ago] complexes are known from at least five regions of Sindh. Most sites are located close to good quality raw material outcrops and freshwater sources.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Another sign of the growing importance of archaeobotanical datasets and the way in which qualitative and quantitative analysis can be used to paint a richer picture of something as complex as agriculture and nutrition in ancient Indus times.
Coningham's article from an anthology of research on the archaeology of the Harappan Civilisation presents an overview of the complex nature of the origin and decipherment of the Indus script.
"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."
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.