Archaeologists studying the emergence of early civilizations often focus on finely crafted art objects in order to understand the aspects of economic, socio-political and religious organization. The importance of such objects is increased when studying early societies for which there are no written records, such as the Indus Valley civilization.
Recent discussions on the nature of early state societies have led some scholars to suggest that the early urban phenomenon of the Indus Civilization should not be characterized as a state level society. This paper will critically examine these arguments in the context of current studies of the Indus Civilization and recent excavations at Harappa, Pakistan.
The various types of materials present at this site reveal a complex network of trade and exchange that spread throughout the Indus Valley.
New studies are beginning to reveal details of the complexity and character of this protohistoric urban society that were not appreciated by earlier scholars.
Archaeologically preserved symbols in the form of artifacts and architecture are the primary category of data available to scholars studying the development of early state level society in South Asia.
Recent studies have shown that the systematic analysis of the Indus craft traditions can provide a unique insight into the social and economic organization of this society.
The buried, ruined debris of a once-roud civilization rises for the first time in nearly four millennia -- this time on a computer screen.
One of the great civilizations of the ancient world -- that of the enigmatic people and cities of the Indus Valley -- grew from roots that reach deep into the past of Pakistan and India.
The author writes: "As an archaeologist who has focused primarily on the first urbanism of the Indus valley, my interest in the Mauryan and Kushana periods arises from a need to understand what happened in the greater Indus valley after the decline and transformation of the Indus cities."
Recently, a program of systematic surface surveys and small-scale excavations has been implemented at sites in the hinterland around Harappa. Initial results of these complementary research strategies are changing our understanding of the nature of Indus urbanism in the Punjab and have implications for the overall structure of the Indus Civilization.