Blog posts relating to the evolution of the ancient Indus Valley civilization society and practices.

Imagining Life in Lothal

A reimagining of life in Lothal 4,000 years ago, satellite images of the town in context of today's landscape, and the discoverer, S. R. Rao's drawings of the town plan, bead factory and warehouse. "While exploring the Sabarmati estuary an ancient mound presently known as Lothal was discovered in November, 1954," wrote S. R. Rao. "The excavation conducted here during the following seven years has brought to light the existence of a flourishing port-city of the Indus Civilization with an excellent brick-built dock and nearly laid-out streets.

The First Images of the Announcement: The Illustrated London News

The first images of the announcement of the discovery of the ancient Indus Valley civilization in the Illustrated London News, on September 20, 1924. "The remarkable discoveries here illustrated put back by several centuries the date of the earliest known remains of Indian civilization. In his deeply interesting article describing them (on page 528) Sir John Marshall compares them to the work of Schliemann at Tiryns and Mycenae, where likewise it fell to the archaeologist to break new ground and reveal the relics of a long forgotten past.

Reconstruction of Faience Tablet Manufacturing

Fully and partially glazed faience tablets and other fired objects could be examined after the fire had cooled and the canister opened during experimental firings at the University of Madison, Wisconsin. The steatite molds were also included in the canister to see how they would be affected by this type of firing. For more on this experiment, see Reconstruction of Tablet Manufacture and Manufacturing Faience Tablets.

The Wheel in Indus Times

It is hard to underestimate the importance of the wheel to ancient Indus civilization. All indications are that it was an indigenous development, pursued in flat agricultural areas, and probably preceded that other great wheel - pardon the pun - of change, the potter's wheel.

The Evolution of Indus Script

The origins of Indus writing can now be traced as far back as the Ravi Phase (c. 3300-2800 BCE) at Harappa. Some inscriptions were made on the bottom of the pottery before firing. Other inscriptions such as this one were made after firing. This inscription (c. 3300 BCE) appears to be three plant symbols arranged to appear almost anthropomorphic. The trident looking projections on these symbols seem to set the foundation for later symbols. See also Dr. Parpola's Deciphering the Indus Script and Iravatham Mahadevan's The Indus Script.