A comprehensive and important paper that actually takes on the much larger question of Mesopotamian to Indus influence which animated the work of earlier archaeologists. Clark discusses so-called "Harappan courtiers," figurines with tiaras and flower headresses that are thought to have parallels with Mesopotamian artifacts, particularly the royal burial goods of Queen Puabi.
A fascinating summary of the first data from the Rakigarhi cemetery that, in the words of the authors, while "insufficient to provide a complete understanding of Harappan Civilization cemeteries, nevertheless does present new and significant information on the mortuary practices and anthropological features at that time."
An excellent distillation of where we stand to the "Bronze" in the Bronze Age Indus Civilization. "Besides clay," writes the author, "there is no other raw material that Indus craftspeople worked into such a diversity of forms and types of artifacts."
"This research project focuses on the Ghaggar plains, which occupies the north-eastern corner of the Indus society, in order to understand the temporal change of craft production through time from the Indus urban period to the post-urban period in this region. As a part of the project, faience objects have been subjected to a series of scientific analyses to identify their raw materials and production technology" (p. 1) write the authors.
This article, in a volume in honor of the "father" of Central Asian Archaeology, Victor Sarianidi, is a solid recap of the many connections between the ancient Indus civilization and contemporary Central Asian cultures.
An interesting series of reflections on how we have viewed the ancient Indus through the prism of whatever archaeological priorities or worldviews were in fashion then, and how the evidence, slowly, can push against these preconceptions.
So much attention has been focused on seals, that we sometimes forget that sealings was their most prosaic and basic function: making impressions on clay or other humble materials to perform some sort of basic administrative functions.
Etched carnelian beads are a hallmark of the Harappan phase and copies of them in different materials are found during this period illustrating their value to the people of the Indus Valley Civilization. Examples of this bead type have also been found in Mesopotamia, Iran and the Gulf and it is believed now that all of these may have been manufactured in the Indus Valley.
A visit to the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi gave me the opportunity to take close shots of four seals from Mohenjo-daro. They show both the exquisite workmanship of Indus craftsmen and the merciless wear, in different degrees, of four thousand years of history.
What did ancient Indus people eat? What kind of crops did they grow? What did they cook? How might these things differ by city, town and region? To even get close to answering these questions, one needs a "a systematic collation of all primary published macrobotanical data, regardless of their designation as ‘crop’, ‘fully domesticated’ or ‘wild/weedy’ species," writes author Jennifer Bates.