Painted Bowl 7

This painted bowl at the Guimet is from the Mundigak IV period, 2900-2400 BCE and involves some elaborate and very finely painted designs that could be an abstraction of the pipal leaf, sacred or of great reverence to Mundigak and Indus cultures. Nonetheless, Mundigak objects have a distinctive style from Indus objects, and bear much in common with another so-called larger Helmand Civilization site now in Iran, Shar-i Sokhta. This is true even if one supposes that at the time of this bowl, Mundigak, like the more northern Afghan site of Shortugai, was part of the Indus culture and traditions.

There is also little doubt that Mundigak site precedes the height of Indus civilization. "The Early Harappan (c. 3200-2600 B.C.) is made up of four regional phases," writes Gregory Possehl "that are thought to be generally contemporary: the Amri-Nal [Sindh-Balochistan], Kot Diji [Sindh], Damb Sadaat [Balochistan], and Sothi-Siswal [Gujarat]" (The Indus Civilization A Contemporary Perspective, 2002, p. 40).

The so-called Mundigak III period (3400-2900 BCE) corresponds with this most closely, and follows a Mundigak I [c. 4000-3500 BCE] and Mundigak II [c. 3500-3400 BCE] periods. There are many similarities both with these Early Harappan cultures to the east and south, and traditions in the north and west, putting Mundigak at the crossroads of different emerging regional pre-Bronze Age cultures.

See Image 3 on the post about the article Shahr-i Sokhta and the chronology of the Indo-Iranian regions by Jean-Fran├žois Jarrige, A. Didier, and Gonzague Quivronfor for similar designs and a drawing of the center of this bowl.