The Shell Middens of the Bay of Daun

Above: Daun: group of querns in shell midden 1 (photograph P. Biagi)

Environmental Changes and Human Impact Along the Cost of Las Bela (Balochistan, Pakistan) Between the 8th and 5th Millenium BP

Exciting new evidence for human activity on the cost of Balochistan long before the ancient Indus civilization flourished.

The discovery of shell middens around the Bay of Daun and Lake Siranda (Las Bela, Balochistan) shows that groups of prehistoric gatherers settled along the coasts of Las Bela at least since the last two centuries of the 8th millennium BP. The radiocarbon dating of the Daun sites indicates that the exploitation of the mangrove resources was not continuous, but took place mainly during two distinct periods of the 7th and 5th millennia BP. The presence of Neolithic shell middens along the northern coasts of the Arabian Sea reinforces the impression that this part of the Indian Ocean was first settled during the Middle Holocene when the sea level had stabilized. The radiocarbon dates obtained from marine and mangrove shells from the Tharro and Makli Hills in Lower Sindh, suggest that coastal seafaring began already in this period.