Seals

Articles on seals, cylinders, and their inscriptions from the ancient Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization.

Looking beneath the Veneer Thoughts about Environmental and Cultural Diversity in the Indus Civilization

"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.

Private Person or Public Persona? Use and Significance of Standard Indus Seals as Markers of Formal Socio-Economic Identities

This deeply investigative article published in Walking with the Unicorn (2018) takes on some of the most unusual facts about ancient Indus seals to surmise about their function in the Indus polity as a whole.

The Organization of Indus Unicorn Seal Production. A Multi-faceted Investigation of Technology, Skill, and Style

Although much about Indus seals remains unknown, the steady application of rigorous, detailed analysis of a kind that earlier excavators could hardly dream of is slowly yielding clues and insights into the organization of work and craft in Indus cities.

The westward transmission of Indus Valley sealing technology: origin and development of the ‘Gulf Type’ seal and other administrative technologies in Early Dilmun, c.2100–2000 BC

A very interesting and informative article that starts bringing the adjacent ancient state of Dilmun on the Arabian Gulf (many of the finds have been in present day Bahrain) to light, and what must have been a very rich trade and cultural relationship with ancient Indus cities.

Finding Harappan seal carvers: An operational sequence approach to identifying people in the past

Seal analysis
Mohenjodaro Seal

Recently published research describes how engravings on Harappan stamp seals allow the identification of particular artisans in the past. He explains how 3D optical microscopy can be used on these engravings to reconstruct how past production events were undertaken by different individual carvers.

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