A richly illustrated slide journey through seals and sealings, how and why they were used in other ancient civilizations, and primarily what we might know and deduce about their use in ancient Indus cities. Dennys Frenez has been studying a large group of accidentally fired Lothal sealings for many years, and is joined by other distinguished archaeologists in what was originally a symposium on bead and seal technologies at the University of Padua, Italy, in 2019.

"There was a frequent use of new, artificial materials during the Indus Integration Era, or Mature Harappan period (ca. 2600-1900 B.C.E.)," writes Heather Miller. "Looking more broadly, this seems a characteristic not only of the Indus, but of many of the Western Asian civilizations of the third and second millennia."

This comprehensive look at the development of the Indus script makes a clear and cogent case that its origins likely can be traced to the pre and post-firing graffiti marks found on pottery throughout the region.

The author writes of his important 284 page thesis, entirely available online: "Through this work, readers will be introduced to both specific and broad overviews of the human-animal based interactions in the Eatern domain of the Indus Valley civilization from its earlier to later phases of existence."

"This chapter [in the forthcoming book Pratnamani: Felicitation Volume for Professor Vasant Shinde, 2020] explores previously reported variation in the mortuary practices of two Indus cities—Rakhigarhi and Harappa—to

This is an exceptional book, from its high production value to well marshaled arguments and the broad perspective of its author, R. Balakrishnan. He has been researching the materials for decades in a careful and constructive manner. It is also a tribute to the late Iravatham Mahadevan, one of my favorite people in ancient Indus studies and India's most accomplished Indus script scholar.

"The theme of this volume has forced us to consider and grapple with what activities occur at night and how that can be applicable to the archaeological record of the Indus civilization. In doing so we have focused on water and sewage system maintenance, a traditional nighttime activity of the modern world, to demonstrate how the common spaces and activities of maintenance would have constructed a shared sense of belonging for participants and/or imposed shared identities upon them by outside viewers," write the authors.

A brand new slide show has just been opened featuring objects from Mundigak, a little-known Bronze Age [c. 4000-2400 BCE] set of mounds in southern Afghanistan.

In the summer of 2019, one of the warmest ever in Paris, I managed to slip one afternoon into the Musee Guimet, and click away on my iPhone at objects usually not seen in colour. This French national museum which contains one of the best collections of Asian Art in the world (as one collector of Indian art, Gursharan Sidhu once put it, the French taste in objects from India is second to none).

The eminent archaeologist George F. Dales (1927-1992, author of Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan: The Pottery) looks at a "creamy buff soft stone" sculpture, just under 10 centimeters in height, that he was shown and photographed in Afghanistan in the early 1970s.

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