A careful look at one of the least studied forms of Indus writing. "The painting of script on pottery. Painting script requires a specially prepared brush that could have been the same as that used for decorating pottery, but would have been selected to have the appropriate size and shape for the size of the script being painted."
The author, who has been working in the larger region for decades exploring the long history of human habitation and industry going back tens of thousands of years, turns his attention to the geographic changes in the Indus delta region through the Bronze Age and what recent work shows us were the curious "islands" that once existed in lower Sindh (Dholavira, in Gujarat, is another example of such a later settlement).
A comprehensive look at what we know about agricultural strategies during the ancient Indus period, and how truly varied and sophisticated these most likely were, with careful adaptation to local conditions and water availability.
A solid foray into the question of what the ancient Indus people, at least in Gujarat, cooked and ate, and how that might have changed after the civilization seems to have declined.
"In the year 2000," writes the author, "I initiated a large‐scale effort to identify the geologic sources from which peoples of the Indus Civilization (ca. 2600 to 1900 BC) acquired rock and mineral resources."
"Geologically speaking," write the authors, "agate is not a particularly uncommon rock . . .. However, good agate – i.e, that which ancient lapidaries would have found suitable for beadmaking – is not widely available. Nodules of the size and quality required to make Harappan-style long-barrel carnelian beads are, in fact, extremely rare" (p. 177).
The intriguing question this paper takes on is whether or not chert blade (also known as flint, used for lighting fires) production could have taken place here, 500 km as the crow flies from the Rohri Flint Quarries, a massive site with evidence for mining going back hundreds of thousands of years and covered in detail by numerous scholars.
"A detailed analysis of the animal bone assemblage at Gola Dhoro here throws light on the expansion of the Indus civilisation into Gujarat. A square fort, imposed on a settlement of livestock herders in the later third millennium BC, was shown to have contained people who introduced a broader diet of meat and seafood, and new ways of preparing it. These social and dietary changes were coincident with a surge in craft and trade."
An important paper - given the painstaking analysis of data - which shows just how careful one has to be in attributing the demise of the Indus civilization to climate change.
On his ninth death anniversary, a tribute to the American archaeologist Gregory M. Possehl, one of the most prolific writers on the ancient Indus civilization – no less than eight books by Possehl are listed on this site, many of them massive tomes, covering all aspects of Indus civilization.