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.
Articles on the evolution, growth and decline of urbanity and fluctuations or changes in over time within the ancient Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization and its antecedents.
A complex meta-analysis of data in a corner of northwestern India for what it can tell us about settlement patterns during the ancient Indus period and just after, when a host of factors, including possibly climate change, seem to have contributed to a re-allocation of populations between types of settlements.
Another important and recent (October 2020) paper by Asko Parpola. He examines the 2018 finds from the Late Harappan site of Sanauli near Delhi in light of his research on early Indo-Aryan languages in the subcontinent and their origin in Central Asia.
The author focuses primarily on economic interaction networks and specialised crafts to show how they can provide a window on the other changes that may have been occurring.
"The recognition of variation and diversity [in the ancient Indus civilization] has encouraged a gradual, though not universally accepted, shift toward the interpretation that certain categories of Indus material acted as ‘a veneer… overlying diverse local and regional cultural expressions'," write the authors.
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.
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.
Science is slowly transforming ancient Indus studies, from DNA analysis of skeletons that point to migration and disease, to isotope analysis that reveals the distant origins of raw materials. One of the cleverest – and potentially rewarding i terms of increasing the number of ancient sites to investigate – must be the use of old maps.
A superb framing of how we might think of the Indus civilization and its evolution as a larger entity in comparison and contrast with other ancient civilizations. How did Indus cities fit into a rural context? Were they ruled by elites? How did they manage to survive so long?