The Mystery of the Mehrgarh Amulet


A stunningly beautiful, accessible animation about the scientific investigation of the metallurgy of a 6000 year old amulet from Mehrgarh, the first known example of the lost wax method. The tiny spoked wheel shape was alloyed from pure copper. The research shows how this neolithic innovation was a precursor to technology of the copper and bronze ages, when the lost wax method was used around the world, and onwards to modern metal casting. Mehrgarh is considered seminal to the birth of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It saw an explosion of metal working techniques, as Shereen Ratnagar has pointed out, and sophisticated pyro-technology, working raw materials to create faience, stoneware, jewelery, and seals, researched by J.M Kenoyer, Massimo Vidale, and Heather Miller, amongst many others.

The film is a fitting tribute to the memory of the great archaeologist Jean-Francois Jarrige, (1940-2014), who led the Mehrgarh excavations.

And we are left wondering at the meaning of this wheel shaped symbol which also occurs in the Indus script....