On a visit earlier in 2019 to the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi, an iPhone camera was a welcome companion in trying to bring out something of the character of Indus figurines resident within the large glass vitrines.
Posts relating to people, gender, artistic representations, and common types in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.
Shereen Ratnagar, in her brand new book The Magic in the Image Women in Clay at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa (soon to be reviewed here) offers an interesting conjecture around a set of male figurines found at the two iconic Indus sites.
Iravatham Mahadevan, India's leading expert on the Indus script, and Padmashri award winner (2009), sadly passed away on Monday in Chennai. He was 89. His contributions towards the understanding of early Indian and Tamil scripts were unparalleled; he was also an extremely generous contributor to Harappa.com, one whose scholarship was widely recognized internationally.
Bridget Allchin, a pioneering woman archaeologist of South Asia, recently passed away. The Guardian has a fine summary of her remarkable career.
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer writes of this stunning figurine: "We also see the bun hairstyle on the miniature bronze sculpture of a male spear-thrower or dancer. Traces of eyes and nose are present. The hair is arranged in a bun on the back of the head . . ."
"The clearest example of the disregard with which gravediggers treated recent burials is the example of burials 194a and 194b. This burial is of a young woman and her infant, along with 32 pottery vessels that were carefully arranged along the edges of the burial pit . . .."
A leading figure in Italian archaeology and Co-Director of the Italy Oman international research program studying the beginnings of navigation and long-distance trade in the Indian Ocean died at the age of 72 yesterday in Ravenna, Italy.
These postcards from the early 1900s and albumen photographs from the 1860s give us a glimpse into some of the fishing technologies and practices that were in use at the time. Combining information from multiple sources, including archival images and narratives, enables us to draw conclusions about what the material culture and social practices of the people of the Indus Valley might have been like.
1. The first postcard is from the early 1900s, probably around 1905 in Sindh Province.
It is not unlikely that ascetics, both men and women who had renounced their possessions and lived off of the land or the generosity of donors, wandered about between the Indus towns and villages. In later periods there are textual references to similar ascetics associated with various religious traditions. In Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Islamic/Sufi traditions, men and women, often in the later stages of life, renounced their possessions to focus on spiritual thought and service.
Matrolocality in Harappa? What does that mean? Women are very important in the social hierarchy, and it may not be unrelated that most figurines like these found in Indus cities like Harappa are of women. First, the evidence: "Of particular interest" writes bioarchaeologist Nancy Lovell in the recent compendium of new research . . .