Recent news includes the opening of a Rediscovering Harappa: through the five elements (water, earth, fire, air, ether) Exhibition at the Lahore Museum on November 21st, and the apparent discovery of Indus artifacts from 2600 BCE in Sikander South near Dera Ismail Khan.
Visits to ancient Indus objects in museums on three continents.
The Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) in Boston, USA has the largest collection of Indus artifacts outside India and Pakistan. MoFA collaborated with the American School of Indic and Iranian Studies in 1935-36 to excavate Chanhu-daro in Sindh, Pakistan, then British India. This mysterious, small and sophisticated craft manufacturing town about 80 miles south of Mohenjo-daro was discovered by N. G. Majumdar in 1931. He and the leader of the Chanhu-daro excavations Ernest J.H.
On a recent trip to New York, I was able to get away for an afternoon to explore the ancient Indus collection at that battleship of a museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found the Indus collection split between two rooms, 234 in the Asian Art and 403 in the Ancient Near Eastern Art sections, with a nice long walk in between.
"Jar painted with birds. 2600-1900 BC, Terracotta with red slip and black painted decoration," is what the unvarnished description at the Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA), Boston reads; in truth this is one of the largest and most richly painted ancient Indus pots ever found.
On a recent visit to London, I decided to have another look at the British Museum's handful of Indus objects. They are usually displayed – with little celebration, given their importance, like the first seal ever found at Harappa . . .
A look at some of the other artifacts we have from this extraordinary female ruler of the Mesopotamian city-state of Ur around 2500 BCE.
A recent exhibition of Sumatran (Indonesian) ceremonial hangings in cotton and silk from the 19th century at the De Young Museum in San Francisco made me wonder whether such textiles were also in vogue in another maritime culture, the ancient Indus, whose boats would not seem out of place in these examples.
It may be hard to imagine that the best places to see artefacts of the ancient town of Chanhiyun Jo Daro [Chanhu Daro] are along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have a number of pieces from a US-funded team the worked at the site in 1935-36, led by Mohenjo daro excavator E.J.H. Mackay [see Dorothy Mackay, Finds at Chanhu-daro]. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston lent some items to the Metropolitan which I was fortunate enough to see in the fall of 2016 [A Visit to the Met I]. It is over 7,000 miles
Rediscovering Harappa | Through the Five Elements, A Special Exhibition at the Lahore Museum is an awesome catalogue that speaks to the process of coming to grips with Indus artefacts at the Lahore Museum in 2016.