"Correlating ancient textual sources with iconography and archaeological evidence in general is notoriously a controversial exercise, constantly carried out on endemically slippery grounds," writes the author at the very

An amazing catalogue of female figurines from Neolithic times across the world, in places connected and witness to constantly shifting populations. Beautifully illustrated, with focus on Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley pieces which are seen in connection to a long, sophisticated tradition.

"A wide range of Indus artefacts have been found over the past forty years at many coastal and inland sites in the Oman peninsula, including utilitarian and ritual pottery, ornaments, seals, weights and, more recently, terracotta toys for children," write the authors.

Was this disc from Mohenjo-daro at the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi used for counting? The circles with dots in the middle are identical to those found on other ivory objects from Mohenjo-daro thought to have been used as counters.

"What were the limits of the known world to the people that inhabited this region during the long prehistory for which we have evidence? What changes did they and their successors experience? What more can we say about the lure of distant lands?"

"It has become clear that Balochistan can neither be perceived as a border nor as a frontier; but rather as a core area with its own dynamics and characterised by regionally distinctive styles."

Although not directly concerned with the ancient Indus civilization, this eye-opening article challenges many assumptions one might have about ancient societies being ruled or dominated by men.

A comprehensive overview of the chronology and possible relationships between so-called Helmand and other cultures in the Indo-Iranian region during pre-Indus and ancient Indus times.

"Recent work on Mesopotamian chronology supports the theory, maybe first proposed by Bibby (1970: 355), that long-distance trade between the two partners was initiated from the Indus."

The apparently sudden appearance of Indus-type seals, pottery and other implements around 2000 BCE in the Arabian Gulf, just before the Indus cities and culture seems to have gone into decline, is a great mystery.

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