Metal Technologies of the Indus Valley Tradition

Generalized reconstruction of non-ferrous metal processing, showing end-products (arrow) and by-products (star)

The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan and western India has been the focus of considerable research over the past two decades and scholars have begun to fill in many of the gaps in our understanding of regional ge­ography, settlement patterns, subsistence, specific technological developments and the chronology of these changes (see Kenoyer 1991; Mughal 1990; Pos­sehl 1990 for summaries). This paper provides an overview of the non-ferrous metal technologies in the northwestern regions of the subcontinent, and of the role of these technologies during the Harappan Phase of the Indus Valley Tradition (2600-1900 B.C.). As the first such overview since Agrawal's seminal work in 1971, we will focus on the presentation of often inac­cessible data, summarizing the information available on metal sources, processing, and use.