Robin Coningham (Durham University) and Ruth Young (University of Leicester) offer a critical synthesis of the archaeology of South Asia from the Neolithic period (c.6500 BCE), when domestication began, to the spread of Buddhism accompanying the Mauryan Emperor Asoka's reign (third century BCE).
As part of his 1935-36 excavation report on Chanhudaro, Ernest Mackay has a section on "Paste Plaques and Cylinders," two types of objects that were made of the same material, and were found in large quantities and occurring together across the excavated area of Mound II. The material was "...white, porous...with a texture like a fine pumice but sufficiently friable to be scraped away easily with the finger nail."
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer writes of this stunning figurine: "We also see the bun hairstyle on the miniature bronze sculpture of a male spear-thrower or dancer. Traces of eyes and nose are present. The hair is arranged in a bun on the back of the head . . ."
One of the finest ancient Indus painted jars ever found, excavated at Chanhu-daro during the 1935-36 season led by Ernest MacKay, who wrote that "a circle motif takes a prominent place, and in vessels of this kind, about half the painted area is usually occupied by this pattern."
"The clearest example of the disregard with which gravediggers treated recent burials is the example of burials 194a and 194b. This burial is of a young woman and her infant, along with 32 pottery vessels that were carefully arranged along the edges of the burial pit . . .."
Another sign of the growing importance of archaeobotanical datasets and the way in which qualitative and quantitative analysis can be used to paint a richer picture of something as complex as agriculture and nutrition in ancient Indus times.
Four thousand years in the making, a free Indus script font package in scalable vector graphics for use in Word and other programs is now available. Over 1,800 signs represent the best Indus concordance by the longtime scholar Dr. Asko Parpola, engineered by the National Fund for Mohenjodaro.
A beautiful music video taking you to the ancient and modern town and surroundings of Harappa, from the magnificent banyan tree in the museum garden, to the galleries, bones and pottery.
"Following these criteria, at least one Harappan toponym can be isolated with a fair amount of confidence. Altogether 70 Indus insciptions have been recovered from Chanhujo-daro. Eleven of them contain the sign [shown], which is not known from any of the other thousands of Indus inscriptions found at other sites," writes Asko Parpola.