An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis

An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis

Environs and Crafts (cont.)

Mohenjodaro City Although the Indus people did not bury their wealth with the dead, they did occasionally hide valuable ornaments in pots and bury these under the floors of a house. In the course of the early excavations, a few rare discoveries were made of gold and silver ornaments and silver vessels that provide evidence for a class of wealthy merchants or landowners.

Unlike Mesopotamia or Egypt, the Indus elites did not erect stone sculptures to glorify their power, and depictions of warfare or conquered enemies are strikingly absent in representational art. Most of the art and symbolic objects were relatively small and in many cases even made in miniature.

At Mohenjo-Daro there are stone carvings of seated male figures that may represent some of the ancestral leaders of these communities.

One of these fragmentary figures is called the "Priest-King" even though there is no evidence that either priests or kings ruled the city.

This bearded sculpture wears a fillet around the head, an armband, and a cloak decorated with trefoil patterns that were originally filled with red pigment.

Male and female human figurines as well as animal figurines were made of terracotta, bronze, faience or even shell. Different styles of ornaments and headdresses on the human figures suggest that many different classes and diverse ethnic communities inhabited the city.

The elites of the Indus cities can be distinguished by their use of carved stone seals having animal motifs and writing. They also wore ornaments, such as bangles and necklaces made of precious metals, rare materials, high fired stoneware or glazed faience.

These symbols of wealth and power were what set the rulers apart from the common people, and they also reflect the many different social and economic levels that were controlled by the rulers.