Although shell objects may seem relatively insignificant compared to other categories of objects, such as seals or sculpture, a detailed study of shell objects and shell working has revealed important aspects of trade and craft specialization in the Indus Civilization.
Articles on economics, monetary system, standardized weights and measurements, commerce, and trade of the ancient Indus Valley people and other nearby civilizations
An insightful article that focusses on the clues in a seal and set of sixteen tablets found together at Harappa in 1997 to proffer that they may have been economic tokens.
The author's research on the understanding of specialized crafts and the trade/exchange between rural and urban sites combined with his recent ethnoarchaeological studies has led him to question some of the generalizations that are prevalent about craft specialization and socio-economic organization of the Indus Civilization.
"Fish remains from archaeological sites have the capacity to offer a tremendous amount of information on social issues in addition to the more traditional goals of subsistence studies related to procurement strategies and seasonality," writes the author.
AIthough the presence of a specialized shell industry and the widespread use of shell are well documented at sites of the Indus Civilization (2500-1750 B.C.), the early stages of this industry were not known until recent excavations at the site of Mehrgarh, Pakistan.
A must-read paper. Dennys Frenez classifies and nicely illustrates recent finds in the Oman Peninsula connecting it to the Indus civilization in multiple ways.
Selected results of current research on specialized crafts at the early urban center of Harappa, Pakistan. Many crafts such as shell working, ceramics, and agate and glazed steatite bead making are represented form the earliest levels of the site and continue up to the final phase of prehistoric occupation.
"Recent discoveries of Indus and Indus related materials at sites in the interior, and a general reassessment of comparable materials throughout Oman, suggest a more complex model of interaction. . . these artefacts probably reflect the presence of small groups of Indus merchants and craftspeople integrated into local communities and directly involved with important socioeconomic activities."
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.
The authors take on the complex question of how Harappan or Indus culture made its presence felt in Gujarat from about the middle of the third millennium through the decline of Indus civilization six or seven hundred years later. How did Indus traditions as expressed in material culture and the manufacture of these objects relate to what we see in Indus cities like Mohenjo-daro and Harappa?