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.
The long-term objectives of this research focus on developing a better understanding of the cultural, economic and social history of Harappa as a discrete urban phenomenon and also its role in the development and life of the Indus Civilization as a whole.
New studies have made it possible to outline the basic structure of socio-economic and political order in the Indus Valley cities and identify distinctive regional patterns of wealth accumulation within the Indus Valley.