Steatite and Faience Manufacturing at Harappa: New Evidence from Mound E Excavations 2000-2001

Steatite pendant found at Mohenjo-daro

During the 2000 and 2001 field season at Harappa, excavations were conducted along the southwestern edge of Mound E to uncover remains of the occupations dating to the Kot Diji Phase (Period 2, circa 2800-2600 BC) and Harappa Phase (Period 3A, circa 2600- 2450 BC). On the basis of surface surveys it was also evident that important craft activities were also present in the area and these appeared to belong to Period 3B (circa 2450-2200 BC) and Period 3C (2200-1900 BC) of the Harappa Phase occupation (Meadow, et al. 2001).

The valuable ornaments and decorations created from steatite and faience were used by the Indus peoples as indicators of status and wealth. The seals and tablets were even more important because they were used by elites to legitimize and reinforce their political, economic and ritual power (Kenoyer 2000). Because of their value to the Indus people it is important to understand who was controlling the manufacture of these objects and precisely how they were being produced.