An overview of the types of artifacts that inform us about ancient Harappan measurement systems in order to gain insight into their concepts of order and cosmology.
Articles on economics, monetary system, standardized weights and measurements, commerce, and trade of the ancient Indus Valley people and other nearby civilizations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Major species of marine mollusca used in the shell industry are discussed in detail and possible ancient shell source areas are identified. Variations in shell artifacts within and between various urban, rural and coastal sites are presented as evidence for specialized production, hierarchical internal trade networks and regional interaction spheres.
By determining the ancient source areas for shells, we can gain a new perspective on the trade networks and the exploitations of marine resources by protohistoric coastal populations.
Harappa’s rock and mineral assemblage from the perspective of the greater Indus Valley’s complex geology, the distance one would have to travel to acquire certain materials and a discussion of the differing motivations behind the acquisition and transport of rock and minerals in the greater Indus Valley region.