Seal-based Administrative Technology and Procedures in the Indus Civilisation: The Lothal Clay Seal Archive


A very nicely illustrated exposition of the unique set of 70 baked clay sealings found in Lothal, Gujarat by an archaeologist who has long been investigating what they tell us about ancient Indus trade and administrative practices. Dr. Frenez summarizes his many decades of work with other notable archaeologists on these finds, first discovered by the Indian archaeologist S.R. Rao in the 1950s. What is truly fascinating is how carefully the nature of what these terracotta sealings might tell us about the great variety of Indus goods in containers, held in what seems to have been a warehouse and control center, with the sealings serving as records of trade and/or the processing of goods. Many of these sealings were impressed by more than one seal. A complete set of images show where the sealings were found, what we can infer about how they were used based on where they were found in the storage area, and much more. Dr. Frenez also draws comparisons with other ancient locations destroyed by fire where sealings were found together with storage jars.

A tour-de-force of reconstruction and analysis.