Above: A Kulli plate very similar to ancient Indus plates with two tigers facing each other and motifs similar to those of the Nal culture of Balochistan.
A closer look at the mysterious Kulli culture of Balochistan that both pre-dated and was contemporaneous with ancient Indus culture, and apparently was part of an elaborate trading network that stretched west as far as the Jiroft culture in Iran. This article by Rita P. Wright, one of the leaders of the Harappa Archeological Research Project (HARP) was originally published in Connections and Complexity, New Approaches to the Archaeology of South Asia (Left Coast Press, 2013).
The article also examines the differences between commodities and things, the types of exchange networks we might presume were active thousands of years ago, the work of the late Indus archaeologist Gregory P. Possehl, and new chronologies and interpretations of activity on the Iranian plateau and Pakistani Balochistan.
Photograph of Kulli plate by Edoardo Loliva.