A recent exhibition of Sumatran (Indonesian) ceremonial hangings in cotton and silk from the 19th century at the De Young Museum in San Francisco made me wonder whether such textiles were also in vogue in another maritime culture, the ancient Indus, whose boats would not seem out of place in these examples.

A critical news report from Al-Jazeera about the state of the site in 2017, with footage which shows the difference between the city these days, and the relatively recent past.

An article in The Verge discusses efforts by scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and others to use algorithmic analysis to decipher the ancient Indus script.

"Between the Buddhist stupa, with its surrounding monastic buildings, and the Great Bath, a considerable stretch of ground which sloped upwards to the east presented interesting possibilities . . ."

"The Harappans had a goddess of war connected with the tiger, another large feline that was once native to the Indus Valley. On a cylinder seal from Kalibangan, a goddess in long skirt and plaited hair holds the hands of two warriors in the process of spearing each other."

Mohenjo Daro is unique because it is the first cinematic release featuring this ancient city. In Hollywood and western cinema, there are many dramatisations on ancient Egypt which was contemporary to the Indus Valley Civilisation. In the Indian film industry however, movies do not go earlier than the time of the Buddha or mythological eras. Indeed, the last Hindi language film set in ancient South Asia was probably Asoka back in 2001.

On a recent visit to London, I decided to have another look at the British Museum's handful of Indus objects. They are usually displayed – with little celebration, given their importance, like the first seal ever found at Harappa . . .

With best wishes from Harappa.com, on Facebook since 2008. We added 30,000 page followers this year, almost a hundred added, two dozen lost each day. Nadine Zubair joined as Assistant Editor, helping to cover many Indus towns and areas usually not well understood.

It is not unlikely that ascetics, both men and women who had renounced their possessions and lived off of the land or the generosity of donors, wandered about between the Indus towns and villages. In later periods there are textual references to similar ascetics associated with various religious traditions. In Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Islamic/Sufi traditions, men and women, often in the later stages of life, renounced their possessions to focus on spiritual thought and service.

More interesting discoveries at Binjor, seven kilometers from the Pakistan border in the bed of the ancient Sarasvati River. Archaeologists have "come across signs of industrial activity going back at least 4500 years," including "over 100 hearths." Concentrated industrial or craft activity at a smaller site has once again been found during the ancient Indus period.

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