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ISBN 978-4-9909150-2-5

South Asian Archaeology Series 4

Current Research on

Indus Archaeology

Edited by

Akinori Uesugi

Research group for South Asian archaeology


Archaeological Research Institute, Kansai University
2018
South Asian Archaeology Series 4

Current Research on
Indus Archaeology

Edited by

Akinori Uesugi

Research group for South Asian archaeology


Archaeological Research Institute, Kansai University
2018
CURRENT RESEARCH ON INDUS ARCHAEOLOGY

South Asian Archaeology Series 4


Edited by Akinori Uesugi
Published by Research Group for South Asian Archaeology,
Archaeological Research Institute, Kansai University
3-3-35 Yamate-cho, Suita, Osaka 564-8680 Japan

This is an E-publication version for open access.

All rights reserved ©Research Group for South Asian Archaeology,


Archaeological Research Institute, Kansai University, and individual authors 2018

ISBN 978-4-9909150-2-5

This publication was published under the research project 'Establishing the Chronology of
South Indian Prehistory' funded by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Japan Society
for the Promotion of Science (Project no. 15H05164, Principal investigator: Akinori Uesugi).
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Contents

Preface

Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology


Focusing on field researches and material cultural studies
Akinori Uesugi
1

Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin
Vivek Dangi
56

Indus Archaeology in Gujarat:


An expedition through space, time, materials and methods
Rajesh S.V.
87

Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization:


a comparison of materials from sites in Gujarat and the Ghaggar-Hakra region
Gregg Jamison
169

Indus copper wares:


Study of manufacturing process by metallography
Takekazu Nagae
195
CONTRIBUTORS

Akinori Uesugi
Ph.D., Part-time Lecturer and Researcher, Kansai University, Osaka/
Visiting Associate Professor, Center for Cultural Resource Studies, Kanazawa University, Ishikawa
southasia.ua@gmail.com

Vivek Dangi
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of History, All India Jat Heroes' Memorial College, Rohtak, Haryana
vivek_dangi@yahoo.co.in

Rajesh S.V.
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
rajeshkeraliyan@yahoo.co.in

Gregg Jamison
Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha
gregg.jamison@gmail.com

Takekazu Nagae
Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Art and Design, University of Toyama, Toyama
tnagae@tad.u-toyama.ac.jp
Preface

This publication is a collection of the papers presented at the International Seminar on Current Research on the
Indus Civilization held at Kansai University on June 8, 2018, which includes four papers by the scholars who par-
ticipated in the seminar.

The study on the Indus Civilization has a history of almost 100 years since its discovery at Harappa and Mo-
henjodaro in the early 1920s. Since then, a number of studies and researches have been conducted by numerous
scholars and many issues have been raised to understand this ancient civilization. In the early phase of studies, the
external origin and connection with the Mesopotamian Civilization were emphasised. With an increasing number
of excavations, cultural developments in the Greater Indus Valley region itself were successfully traced leading to
the emphasis on the indigenous developments of this civilization. Recent researches focus on a diverse range of is-
sues including palaeo-environmental reconstruction. The research methods used in fields have also become diverse
introducing digital technologies in recent years.

While our understanding on the Indus Civilization has become profound by the tremendous efforts by scholars
from many countries including India and Pakistan, a number of problems and issues to be solved and investigated
are in our hand. To develop better understanding of this civilization, it is crucial to address problem-oriented
issues, to develop updated research methodology and to share the results of researches among scholars and those
who are interested in this field.

The contributors to this volume are all working in fields to obtain and analyze primary data, and to present their
works and data to the academic society. Dr. Vivek Dangi has been conducting a number of surveys in the Ghaggar
valley which covers the modern states of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan of India. He presents a general view on
the Indus sites in the Ghaggar valley based on his fieldworks in this volume. Dr. Rajesh S.V., who also has been en-
gaged in many surveys and excavations in Gujarat, overviews the history of researches at the Indus sites in Gujarat
and presents the current understanding on the Indus archaeology in the region. Dr. Gregg Jamison examines the
stylistic features of the Indus-style seals to see the interregional connections of the Indus urban society. Dr. Take-
kazu Nagae, a metallurgist, who has broad interests in ancient metallurgy in various parts of Eurasia, has recently
been conducting a research on copper/bronze objects of the Indus period and Iron Age in South Asia. I, Akinori
Uesugi, has been parts of many projects in India and Pakistan and has been attempting to develop an integrated
view towards the socio-cultural developments in the South Asian Bronze and Iron Ages. My article in this volume
overviews the current state of the material cultural studies in the Indus archaeology.

I hope that this volume will contribute to our understanding of the significance of the Indus Civilization and the
Indus archaeology. Last but not least, I express my gratitude to the contributors to this volume and the partici-
pants to the seminar.

Akinori Uesugi
Editor of this volume
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Current state of research and issues of


Indus Archaeology
Focusing on field researches and material cultural studies

Akinori Uesugi
(Kansai University/Kanazawa University)

INTRODUCTION from Maharashtra.


The number of excavated sites cannot be so over-
The Indus archaeology has a history of almost 100 estimated in terms of the presence of more than 3,000
years since the commencement of excavations at Indus sites over the Greater Indus Valley. While most
Mohenjodaro and Harappa in the 1920s. A diverse of the excavations of Indus sites are briefly reported in
range of studies have been done in this field, and the form of preliminary reports, the details and prima-
various issues have been set for researches. However, ry data of finds from excavations are rarely published
it must be admitted that there are many issues yet to resulting in the difficulty to analyse and compare the
be investigated, especially some fundamental studies data from various sites and to present an integrated
on the material culture of the Indus Civilization. In view of the Indus Civilization. The quality of the pres-
this article, the current state of research and issues are entation of the results of the excavations also varies
overviewed. from one to another.
Overviewing the current trends of archaeological
excavations at Indus sites, it can be pointed out that
EXCAVATIONS the targets of excavations have become more diverse
than before. Not only unearthing the structural
The number of excavated Indus sites counts 184 to remains and artefacts but also retrieving palaeo-envi-
date (Figure 1; Table 1). In country-wise, four sites in ronmental data, especially faunal and botanical evi-
Afghanistan, 47 sites in Pakistan and 133 sites in In- dence, have increasingly become important in recent
dia have been excavated. Among the excavated sites in excavations to reconstruct the palaeo-environments.
Pakistan (Figures 2 and 3), ten sites belong to Sindh, The fields of zoo-archaeology and botanical archaeol-
four sites to Punjab, 11 sites to Khyber-Pakhtunkh- ogy have a long history in South Asian archaeology,
wa and 22 sites to Balochistan. For the sites in India but the palaeo-environmental studies have been more
(Figures 4 and 5), two sites are from Jammu-Kashmir, oriented in recent years.
18 sites from Punjab, 24 sites from Haryana, three However, the studies on particular structural
sites from Delhi, ten sites from Uttar Pradesh, 14 sites remains and artefacts are limited in number mainly
from Rajasthan, 61 sites from Gujarat and one site because of the paucity of published data. Especially

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

3
1
Punjab

Ghaggar

Balochistan

Sindh
Aravali

Gujarat

184

Figure 1 Distribution of Indus-related sites (white dots) and excavated sites (red dots) (made by the author)

diachronic examinations on them are difficult be- ed with artefactual and stratigraphic evidence. A site
cause the stratigraphic contexts of finds are not well is an accumulation of a diverse range of human activ-
reported in preliminary reports. Consequently, there ities happened at the site. Excavations of any archaeo-
is a great difficulty to systematically examine the logical site aim at obtaining a diverse range of data re-
stratigraphic data of finds to understand how the site garding the human occupation from various contexts
was diachronically occupied and how the occupation or the interconnection between structural remains,
changed in time at given site. artefacts and stratigraphy. It is desirable to report the
14
With regard to this problem, C dating widely interconnection of various evidence to share them
conducted for a number of sites are not well connect- among scholars to develop a holistic understanding of

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Khyber-
Pakhtunkhwa

52

41
Jammu-Kashmir
8
15 11
14 10 53

7 13
6
5
12
9

Pakistani Punjab
Balochistan 38
39

40

Sindh

Figure 2 Distribution of Indus-related sites and excavated sites:


Pukistani Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (the numbers correspond to that of Table 1; made by the author)

2
3
1
27
20
30

Afghanistan 21 32
19 36
18
Pakistani
23 25
28
Punjab
31

Iran 34

Balochistan 16

35 44
49
47
24 51
50 48
29

26 46
33 22
43 45
37
17
Sindh
42

Figure 3 Distribution of Indus-related sites and excavated sites:


Balochistan (the numbers correspond to that of Table 1; made by the author)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

65 61
62 68
Pakistani Punjab 54 63
70
71
69
67 56 58
66 59
55 64

Indian Punjab 57
75
102
81
60 78
91 93
100
82 104
77
112 86 73
74 76 107
116
122 94
90
95 108
111 119 121 79 103
117 85 80 99

83 92 88
96
89 72 98
106
97
87
Haryana Uttar Pradesh
Rajasthan 84

105

101
113

115

118

Figure 4 Distribution of Indus-related sites and excavated sites:


Indian Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and northern Rajasthan (the numbers correspond to that of Table 1; made by the author)

Rajasthan

120

Sindh
114
110
109
138 135 173
154 183
131
132 163 156 150
175 170
145 146 143 171 149
133 174
160
127
161 147 180
140 Gujarat
165
128 169 151
159 148 141
124 126 178
136 123 181
172 157
176 162 179 155 177
130 166 168 152 158
129 182
164 125 137
153 134
167
142 139

Figure 5 Distribution of Indus-related sites and excavated sites:


Rajasthan, Gujarat and Sindh (the numbers correspond to that of Table 1; made by the author)

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Table 1 List of the excavated Indus sites (made by the author)

No Site WGS84_E WGS84_N Country State Primary references


1 Deh Morasi Ghundai 65.5000 31.5167 Afghanistan Kandahar Dupree 1963
2 Mundigak 65.5000 31.9167 Afghanistan Kandahar Casal 1961
3 Said Qala Tepe 65.5833 31.6333 Afghanistan Kandahar Shaffer 1978
4 Shortughai 69.5000 37.3000 Afghanistan Badakhshan Francfort 1989
5 Gandhi Umar Khan 70.5401 31.7087 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Khan et al. 2000a
6 Gumla 70.8333 31.8833 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Dani 1970-71
7 Hathala 70.5972 32.0167 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Dani 1970-71
8 Islam Chowki 70.4833 32.9833 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Khan et al. 1991
Ali and Khan 2001; Khan et al.
9 Jhandi Babar 70.5034 31.6181 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 2000b
10 Lak Largai 70.5167 32.8167 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Khan et al. 1991
11 Lewan 70.5833 32.8833 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Allchin et al. 1986
12 Maru-2 70.5731 31.6151 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Khan et al. 2000a

13 Rehman Dheri 70.7667 31.9500 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Durrani 1988; Durrani et al.
1991; Ali 1994-1995
14 Sheri Khan Tarakai 70.4500 32.8167 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Petrie ed. 2010
15 Tarakai Qila 70.3833 32.9167 Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Allchin and Knox 1981
16 Anjira 66.3167 28.2833 Pakistan Balochistan de Cardi 1965

17 Balakot 66.7250 25.4750 Pakistan Balochistan Dales 1974, 1979; Franke-Vogt


1997
18 Dabar Kot 68.6833 30.0833 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1929; Fairservis 1959
19 Damb Sadaat 66.9500 30.0500 Pakistan Balochistan Fairservis 1956
20 Kaudani 69.3000 31.4333 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1929; Fairservis 1959
21 Kili Ghul Mohammad 66.9667 30.2833 Pakistan Balochistan Fairservis 1956
22 Kulli 65.0000 26.2500 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1931
23 Lal Shah 67.5583 29.4167 Pakistan Balochistan Pracchia 1985
24 Mehi 65.7000 27.2167 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1931
25 Mehrgarh 67.6124 29.4313 Pakistan Balochistan Jarrige, C. et al. 1995

26 Miri Qalat 63.0125 26.0333 Pakistan Balochistan Besenval 1994, 1997, 2000;
Besenval and Marquis 1993
27 Moghul Ghundai 69.2500 31.4333 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1929; Fairservis 1959
28 Nausharo 67.5878 29.3647 Pakistan Balochistan Jarrige 1988, 1989, 1990
29 Nindowari 66.0667 26.9500 Pakistan Balochistan Jarrige et al. 2011
30 Periano Ghundai 69.3833 31.3667 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1929; Fairservis 1959
31 Pirak 67.5000 29.2600 Pakistan Balochistan Jarrige et al. 1979
32 Rana Ghundai 68.7500 30.4000 Pakistan Balochistan Ross 1946
33 Shahi Tump 63.0042 26.0083 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1931; Besenval 2000
34 Siah Damb 66.1833 28.5667 Pakistan Balochistan de Cardi 1965
35 Sohr Damb/Nal 66.2667 27.7333 Pakistan Balochistan Franke-Vogt 2005a, 2005b
36 Sur Jangal 68.5000 30.2667 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1929; Fairservis 1959

37 Sutkagen-dor 62.0000 25.5000 Pakistan Balochistan Stein 1931; Dales and Lippo
1992
Dales 1989; Dales and Kenoyer
1992a, 1992b, 1993; Kenoyer
38 Harappa 72.8667 30.6333 Pakistan Pakistan Punjab 1993; Kenoyer and Meadow
2000, 2016; Meadow ed. 1991;
Meadow and Kenoyer 1993,
1994, 1997, 2005a, 2005b, 2008
39 Jalilpur 72.1167 30.5333 Pakistan Pakistan Punjab Mughal 1972, 1974
40 Kudwala Ther 71.8833 29.1917 Pakistan Pakistan Punjab Stein 1943
41 Sarai Khola 72.8002 33.7310 Pakistan Pakistan Punjab Halim 1972a, 1972b
42 Allahdino 67.3000 24.9500 Pakistan Sindh Fairservis 1979, 1982
43 Amri 68.0167 26.1667 Pakistan Sindh Casal 1964

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Table 1 (contd.) List of the excavated Indus sites (made by the author)

No Site WGS84_E WGS84_N Country State Primary references


44 Bhando Qubo 68.3270 27.8032 Pakistan Sindh Shaikh and Veesar 2000-01
45 Chanhudaro 68.3322 26.1708 Pakistan Sindh Mackay 1943
46 Ghazi Shah 67.4667 26.4500 Pakistan Sindh Flam 1993
47 Jhukar 68.1167 27.5667 Pakistan Sindh Mughal 1992
48 Kot Diji 68.7046 27.3470 Pakistan Sindh Khan 1965
49 Lakhanjodaro 68.8476 27.7254 Pakistan Sindh Shaikh et al. 2007-08

50 Mohenjodaro 68.1167 27.3000 Pakistan Sindh Marshall 1931; Mackay 1938;


Dales 1965

51 Naru Waro Dharo 68.6833 27.4167 Pakistan Sindh Department of Archaeology


1964
52 Burzahom 73.9000 34.1667 India Jammu-Kashmir Sharma, A.K. 2000
53 Manda 74.8000 32.9000 India Jammu-Kashmir Joshi 1993
54 Bara 76.5000 30.9167 India Indian Punjab Sharma, Y.D. 1982
55 Bhudan 75.7722 30.5194 India Indian Punjab Suraj Bhan and Shaffer 1978

56 Brass 76.5333 30.5833 India Indian Punjab IAR 1990-91, 1991-92,1993-94,


1994-95
57 Burj 76.4833 30.1500 India Indian Punjab Manmohan Kumar 1984
58 Chandigarh (Sector 99) 76.7833 30.7500 India Indian Punjab Sharma, Y.D. 1982
59 Dadheri 76.7160 30.6345 India Indian Punjab Joshi 1993
60 Dhalewan 75.5961 30.0234 India Indian Punjab Bala and Kant 2000, 2006
61 Dher Majra 76.5500 31.0333 India Indian Punjab Prüfer 1952
62 Katpalon 75.8500 31.0333 India Indian Punjab Joshi 1993
63 Kotla Nihang Khan 76.5667 30.9333 India Indian Punjab Sharma, Y.D. 1982
64 Mahorana 75.9500 30.4833 India Indian Punjab Sharma, Y.D. 1987
65 Nagar 75.8366 31.0404 India Indian Punjab Joshi 1993
66 Raja Sirkap 74.7667 30.6500 India Indian Punjab Sharma, Y.D. 1982

67 Rohira 75.8454 30.6417 India Indian Punjab Sharma, G.B. and Manmohan
Kumar 1981

68 Ropar 76.5242 30.9716 India Indian Punjab Sharma, Y.D. 1955-56, 1982,
2001
Sharma, Y.D. 1982; Sharma,
69 Sanghol 76.3892 30.7837 India Indian Punjab G.B. 2014; Margabandhu and
Gaur 1987, 1988
70 Sarangpur 76.8000 30.7667 India Indian Punjab Suraj Bhan 1967; Sharma 1982
71 Sunet 75.8333 30.8333 India Indian Punjab IAR 1983-84
72 Badli 76.8000 28.5833 India Haryana Thakran et al. 2010

73 Balu 76.3858 29.6696 India Haryana Singh and Suraj Bhan 1982;
Kesarwani 2001, 2002

74 Banawali 75.3928 29.5976 India Haryana Bisht 1977, 1982, 1987; Bisht
and Asthana 1979
75 Bhagwanpura 76.9500 30.0667 India Haryana Joshi 1993
76 Bhirrana 75.5492 29.5504 India Haryana Rao et al. 2003, 2004, 2005
77 Burj 75.6417 29.6573 India Haryana Singh et al. 2010a
78 Daulatpur 76.9397 29.9643 India Haryana IAR 1968-69, 1976-77, 1977-78
79 Farmana 76.3084 29.0406 India Haryana Shinde et al. ed. 2011b
80 Girawad 76.4794 28.9776 India Haryana Shinde et al. ed. 2011a

81 Jognakhera 76.7955 29.9803 India Haryana Acharya and Dahia no date,


Malik et al. 2007
82 Kalayat 76.2564 29.6772 India Haryana Phogat 1970
83 Khanak 75.8692 28.9083 India Haryana Singh et al. 2016
84 Khatoli 76.2500 28.0833 India Haryana Sharma 1982
85 Khera 76.3080 28.9841 India Haryana Thakran et al. 2013

86 Kunal 75.6585 29.6210 India Haryana Khatri and Acharya 1995; Acha-
rya ed. 2008

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Table 1 (contd.) List of the excavated Indus sites (made by the author)

No Site WGS84_E WGS84_N Country State Primary references


87 Lohat 76.8584 28.5402 India Haryana V. Dangi pers. comm.
88 Madina 76.4199 28.9197 India Haryana Manmohan Kumar et al. 2016
89 Manheru 76.2333 28.7167 India Haryana Thakran et al. 2010, 2010-11
90 Masudpur 75.9833 29.2333 India Haryana Petrie et al. 2009
91 Mirzapur 76.8032 29.9518 India Haryana Singh 1977

92 Mitathal 76.1698 28.8911 India Haryana Suraj Bhan 1975; Manmohan


Kumar et al. 2011, 2012
93 Raja Karna ka Qila 76.8030 29.9512 India Haryana IAR 1974-75, 1975-76
94 Rakhigarhi 76.1134 29.2915 India Haryana Nath 1998, 1999, 2001
95 Siswal 75.5065 29.2214 India Haryana Suraj Bhan 1971-72, 1973
96 Bhorgarh 77.0863 28.8275 India Delhi Babu 1995
97 Dhansa 76.8658 28.5575 India Delhi Suraj Bhan and Shaffer 1978
98 Mandoli 77.3141 28.7040 India Delhi Babu 1996
99 Alamgirpur 77.3667 29.0000 India Uttar Pradesh IAR 1958-59; Singh et al. 2013
100 Ambkheri 77.7667 29.7333 India Uttar Pradesh IAR 1963-64
101 Atranjikhera 78.7333 27.7000 India Uttar Pradesh Gaur 1983
102 Bargaon 77.5407 30.0949 India Uttar Pradesh IAR 1963-64
103 Hastinapura 78.0072 29.1583 India Uttar Pradesh Lal 1954
104 Hulas 77.3595 29.7044 India Uttar Pradesh Dikshit 1980, 1982
105 Jakhera 78.5879 27.7906 India Uttar Pradesh Sahi 1992
106 Lal Qila 78.2500 28.5000 India Uttar Pradesh Gaur 1995
107 Mandi 77.5764 29.4361 India Uttar Pradesh Sharma, D.V. et al. 2000
108 Sanauli 77.2169 29.1411 India Uttar Pradesh Sharma, D.V. et al. 2004, 2006
109 Ahar 73.7216 24.5872 India Rajasthan Sankalia et al. 1969

110 Balathal 73.9844 24.7259 India Rajasthan Mishra 1997; Mishra et al. 1995,
1997
111 Baror 73.3134 29.1689 India Rajasthan Sant et al. 2005
112 Dabli vas Chugta 74.1711 29.5275 India Rajasthan Singh et al. 2012
113 Ganeshwar 75.8162 27.6737 India Rajasthan Agrawala and Vijay Kumar 1982
IAR 1959-60; Shinde and Pos-
114 Gilund 74.2644 25.0323 India Rajasthan sehl 2005; Shinde et al. 2005;
Raczek and Shinde eds. 2010

115 Jodhpura 76.0833 27.5167 India Rajasthan IAR 1972-73; Agrawala and
Vijay Kumar 1982
116 Kalibangan 74.1299 29.4728 India Rajasthan Lal et al. 2003, 2015
117 Karanpura 75.0971 29.1053 India Rajasthan Prabhakar 2013
IAR 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-
118 Noh 77.5475 27.2103 India Rajasthan 66, 1966-67, 1968-69, 1970-71,
1971-72
119 Nohar 74.7500 29.1667 India Rajasthan Dikshit 1984
120 Ojiyana 74.3500 25.8833 India Rajasthan Meena and Tripathi 2000
121 Sothi 74.8561 29.1859 India Rajasthan Dikshit 1984
122 Tarkhanewala Dera 73.2244 29.2388 India Rajasthan Trivedi 2009
123 Adkot 71.0833 22.0000 India Gujarat IAR 1957-58
124 Amra 69.9333 22.2667 India Gujarat Subbarao 1958; IAR 1955-56
125 Andhi 72.7288 21.2849 India Gujarat IAR 1961-62
126 Babar Kot 71.5708 22.2678 India Gujarat IAR 1990-91
127 Bagasara (Ghola Dholo) 70.6203 23.0368 India Gujarat Sonawane et al. 2003
128 Bet Dwarka 69.0833 22.3333 India Gujarat Gaur et al. 2005
129 Bhagatrav 72.7000 21.4833 India Gujarat IAR 1957-58; Rao 1962
130 Bokhira 69.6028 21.6556 India Gujarat Gaur et al. 2006

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Table 1 (contd.) List of the excavated Indus sites (made by the author)

No Site WGS84_E WGS84_N Country State Primary references


131 Datrana 71.1167 23.7694 India Gujarat IAR 1993-94

132 Desalpur 69.1680 23.4657 India Gujarat IAR 1963-64; Soundara Rajan
1984
133 Dhaneti 69.9131 23.2503 India Gujarat P. Ajithprasad pers. comm.
134 Dhatva 72.7667 21.1500 India Gujarat Mehta and Chowdhary 1975
135 Dholavira 70.2137 23.8881 India Gujarat Bisht 1997
136 Dwarka 69.0000 22.2167 India Gujarat IAR 1979-80
137 Jokha 73.0000 21.2833 India Gujarat Mehta et al. 1971
138 Juni Kuran 69.7651 23.9623 India Gujarat Pramanik 2004
139 Kaj 70.8500 20.7333 India Gujarat Farooqui et al. 2013
140 Kanasutaria 72.2667 22.7833 India Gujarat Rao 1962
141 Kanewal 72.5000 22.4667 India Gujarat Mehta et al. 1980
142 Kanjetar 70.6667 20.7500 India Gujarat Rao 1962; Farooqui et al. 2013
143 Kanmer 70.8632 23.4179 India Gujarat Kharakwal et al. 2012
144 Khanpur 0.0000 0.0000 India Gujarat Chitalwala and Thomas 1978
145 Khirsara 69.0500 23.4500 India Gujarat Nath et al. 2012, 2013, 2017
146 Kotada Bhadli 69.4333 23.3667 India Gujarat Shirwalkar and Rawat 2016
147 Kuntasi 70.6001 22.8922 India Gujarat Dhavalikar et al. 1996
148 Lakhabaval 70.0000 22.4000 India Gujarat Subbarao 1958
149 Langhnaj 72.5333 23.4500 India Gujarat Sankalia 1965
150 Loteshwar 71.8366 23.6004 India Gujarat IAR 1990-91
151 Lothal 72.2497 22.5236 India Gujarat Rao 1979, 1985
152 Machiala-Mota 71.2333 21.6833 India Gujarat Rao 1962
153 Malvan 72.7167 21.1000 India Gujarat Allchin and Joshi 1995
154 Mathutra 71.0833 23.7333 India Gujarat Majumdar 1999

155 Mehgam 72.7500 21.7000 India Gujarat IAR 1957-58, 1959-60; Rao
1962

156 Moti Pipli 71.5005 23.8236 India Gujarat Majumdar and Sonawane 1996-
97
157 Motidharai 71.9000 21.9500 India Gujarat IAR 1957-58
158 Nagal 72.9167 21.6167 India Gujarat IAR 1961-62
159 Nageshwar 69.0333 22.3000 India Gujarat Hegde et al. 1990
160 Nagwada 71.7125 23.3042 India Gujarat Hegde et al. 1988
161 Navinal 69.5833 22.8333 India Gujarat Rajesh et al. 2015
162 Oriyo Timbo 71.6044 21.8867 India Gujarat Rissman and Chitalwala 1990
163 Pabumath 70.5027 23.6146 India Gujarat IAR 1977-78, 1978-79, 1980-81
164 Padri 72.1094 21.3403 India Gujarat Shinde 1992
165 Pithad ( Jaidak) 70.5333 22.6833 India Gujarat Ajithprasad 2008
166 Pithadia 70.6667 21.7667 India Gujarat IAR 1957-58
167 Prabhas Patan (Somnath) 70.5000 20.7833 India Gujarat Nanavati et al. 1971
168 Randaliyo 71.0500 21.8000 India Gujarat IAR 1958-59
169 Rangpur 71.9219 22.3989 India Gujarat Rao 1962
170 Ranod (Vaharvo Timbo ) 71.8033 23.5547 India Gujarat P. Ajithprasad pers. comm.
171 Ratanpura 71.8000 23.4667 India Gujarat IAR 1984-85
172 Rojdi 70.9189 21.8631 India Gujarat Possehl and Raval 1989
173 Santhli 71.5000 23.9028 India Gujarat IAR 1993-94

174 Shikarpur 70.6771 23.2376 India Gujarat Bhan and Ajithprasad 2008,
2009
175 Surkotada 70.9173 23.6113 India Gujarat Joshi ed. 1990
176 Taraghda 70.4333 21.7333 India Gujarat IAR 1978-79
177 Telod 72.7667 21.7000 India Gujarat IAR 1957-58; Rao 1962

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Table 1 (contd.) List of the excavated Indus sites (made by the author)

No Site WGS84_E WGS84_N Country State Primary references


178 Vagad 71.8667 22.3167 India Gujarat Sonawane and Mehta 1985
179 Valabhi 71.8833 21.8833 India Gujarat Mehta 1984
180 Vallabhipur 71.6419 22.6875 India Gujarat Heras 1938
181 Vejalka 71.8614 22.2514 India Gujarat K. Krishnan pers. comm.
182 Warthan 72.8500 21.3667 India Gujarat IAR 1961-62
183 Zekhada 71.4667 23.8500 India Gujarat Momin 1983
184 Daimabad 74.6007 19.4228 India Maharashtra Sali 1986

the site. It is an important task for us to continuously but also the extension and features of archaeological
elaborate the methods, documentation and reporting sites must be recorded in surveys. The method of grid
of archaeological excavations, as future studies and survey to systematically record and collect archaeo-
researches depend on these primary data. logical features and artefacts is also effective to better
understand the site without excavations (Wright et al.
2005). The introduction of a total station and digital
SURVEYS photogrammetric survey is also useful for recording
the details of sites (Figures 6 and 7). The application
Archaeological surveys in certain regions of the of satellite imagery also has been growing to examine
Greater Indus Valley are one of the most active fields the relations between sites, terrains, vegetations and
of researches. Especially post-graduate students tend riverine systems (Wright and Hritz 2012; Petrie et al.
to conduct surveys for their dissertations resulting in 2016; Conesa et al. 2013, 2014a, 2014b, 2017; Balbo
discoveries of a number of sites. In the Indus archaeol- et al. 2013). It is also desirable to develop some device
ogy, the Ghaggar Valley and Gujarat are the focus for to share such fundamental data about sites among
extensive and intensive surveys (Shinde et al. 2008a; scholars.
Dangi 2009a, 2009b, 2010, 2011; Dangi and Parveen It is regrettable that the dissertations by post-grad-
Kumar 2013; Samunder and Dangi 2014; Garge 2005; uate students are not widely published. As they are a
Singh et al. 2008, 2010a, 2010b, 2011, 2012; Petrie et crucial source for future studies and researches, it is
al. 2009; Rajesh and Patel 2007, 2010; Ajithprasad et also important to publish them in some devices like
al. 2011). the Web.
The increasing use of GNSS in recent years has en-
abled to record the geocoordinates of archaeological
sites and features with higher accuracies. In earlier sur- MATERIAL CULTURE STUDIES
veys, the accuracy of the locations of sites was not so
satisfactory. As in the corpus of Indus sites published In this section, recent studies on the material culture
by G.L. Possehl (1999), a number of errors are found of the Indus Civilization are to be briefly reviewed.
in the locations of sites, redocumentation of sites with The Urban Indus period is characterised by the pro-
accurate locations using GNSS is crucial to examine duction and consumption of various commodities and
the distribution pattern of sites. As the recent destruc- crafts. While there are elements of material culture
tions of archaeological sites by land developments continuing from the Pre-Urban period, the material
are a serious problem, not only the location of sites culture of the Urban period reflects the nature of the

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

MTL-2
Area 3
A17
MTL-3

Area 6
Kilns Area 5
Area 4 Excavated area in 2011-12
S2

Area 1
A4-A6

211.21m
Area 2
24.92m
S1
MTL-1

206.30m 16.19m

Excavated area

Removed area

Figure 6 Examples of DEM (Digital Elevation Model) with contours lines generated by total station and GIS software
(Left: Mitathal, Hariyana, right: Shikarpur, Gujarat; the DEM of Shikarpur was produced by the author as a part of the project by
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 7 Photogrammetric 3D model of a pottery cluster unearthed at Shikarpur


(Produced by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Ancient History,
the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

urban society of the period. One of the most impor- ologists that there is a diverse range of artefacts that
tant approaches to the material culture of the Urban appeared and disappeared at some certain points of
period is to examine how the material culture of the time of the Indus period, very few attempts have been
Pre-Urban period was transformed into the urban ma- made to clarify how, where and when a given element
terial culture and how new elements were introduced of the material culture made its appearance and van-
in the Urban period. In other words, it is crucial to ished.
trace the social transformation from the Pre-Urban For example, ceramics that are abundantly un-
period to the Urban period in the material culture. earthed from sites exhibit temporal and spatial var-
Some elements of material culture abruptly appeared iations. Therefore, it is easy to compare the ceramic
in the Urban period, while others did not exhibit any evidence from several sites in one region or different
change from the Pre-Urban period. Some elements regions. In this sense, the ceramic evidence can be a
might have continued from the Pre-Urban period to good indicator for demarcating spatial or temporal
the Urban period with new meaning and values. In unit of material culture. Most archaeologists empir-
sum, it is one of the key approaches to see the changes ically recognise the stylistic diversity in the ceramics
in the material culture in connection with the devel- between the Pre-Urban, Urban and the Post-Urban
opments of the urban society. periods so that they can classify potsherds into some
chronological groups. In the same way, there is im-
Chronological studies mense diversity in the ceramics of the Urban period,
Establishing the chronology is essential to archaeolo- which might be placed in chronological order. Once
gy in general not only to the material culture studies. the variations in ceramics are placed in chronology,
Without any time-scale, the socio-cultural changes the resolution of chronological framework will be
cannot be better traced in material culture. Hence, much more elaborated than the three divisions widely
establishing a detailed chronological framework for used.
examining the changes in material culture and the The attempts to make the chronology more re-
society is a fundamental concept of chronological fined is rare in the Indus archaeology. In case of the
studies. In case of the Greater Indus Valley, three excavation of a site, the site chronology is established
chronological divisions, Pre-Urban (4000 - 2600 basically based on the changes of structural remains.
BCE), Urban (2600 - 1900 BCE) and Post-Urban In establishing the site chronology, the material re-
periods (1900 - 1500 BCE), are used to explain the mains other than structural remains are treated in a
socio-cultural dynamics of the rise and decline of the secondary position. The chronological units demar-
Indus urban society, but their time span is too large to cated by structural remains tend to have a time span of
trace the socio-cultural developments or events and is more than 100 years. Consequently, the chronological
insufficient for the material culture studies. However, unit used for examining the material culture at the
there are very few attempts to divide each phase into site have the same broad time span. With this time
more refined chronological units. span of chronological units, it is difficult to trace the
Methodologically, chronological studies consist changes in the material culture attested at the site.
of relative chronology and absolute chronology. The Structural remains and other elements of a material
relative chronology aims at tracing various changes in culture do have different paces in change. Ideally, vari-
the material culture and at placing them in chronolog- ous elements composing a site must be independently
ical order. While it is well recognised among archae- examined to trace changes in each of them, and the

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

0 20cm

Kot Diji style

0 20cm

Classical Harappa style

Mehragrh Period VI-VII

Sothi-Siswal style

0 20cm

Anarta style

Distribution zone of
the Harappa-style pottery
0 20cm

Distribution zone of regional ceramic styles

1. Pre-Urban Indus period 2. Early and Middle phases of the Urban Indus period
(c. 3000 - 2600 BCE) (c. 2600 - 2300 BCE)

BMAC

Cemetery H style

Bala style
Bala style
Harappa style

Jhukar style

Kulli style

Rangpur IIC style

Sorath Harappa style

3. Late phase of the Urban Indus period 4. Post-Urban Indus period


(c. 2300 - 1900 BCE) (c. 1900 - 1500 BCE)

Figure 8 Diachronic changes of the spatial pattern of ceramic styles (made by the author)

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

stratigraphical relations between them must be clari- the stylistic and chronological study on the material
fied. culture to reveal its spatial and chronological features.
In any case, it must be kept in mind that the The present author also examines the Harap-
structural phases and the phases established for oth- pa-style pottery from the Ghaggar Valley and Gujarat
er elements of material culture do not necessarily (Figure 10) (Uesugi 2013a) and discusses that the
match with each other. In the case of ceramics, it Harappa-style pottery exhibits a stylistic change
can generally be assumed that ceramics change faster between the Early phase and the Late phase of the Ur-
than structural remains. However, the results of an ban period (Figure 8). This change can be interpreted
excavation including the material culture of a site are as indicating the emergence of regional styles of the
reported based on the site chronology established by Harappa-style pottery in the Late phase in contrast
structural remains, hence making it difficult to trace to the Harappa-style pottery of the Early phase that
the dynamic process of changes in the ceramics at the shows homogeneous morphological features over a
site. There are a number of archaeological contexts wide area of the Greater Indus Valley. This is another
even in one structural phase. If the material culture example of the stylistic and chronological studies on
evidence would be reported and examined based on material culture.
the contexts, much more refined chronological units Once an elaborated chronological scale is set
can be demarcated to establish better chronology. based on the ceramic evidence, the diachronic chang-
Taking an example from the excavations at Far- es in other elements of the material culture such as
mana and Mitathal in Haryana in which the author stone beads and stone seals can be examined. For
participated, the ceramics were examined based on example, Meadow and Kenoyer (2000) discuss the
structural units including pits and occupational chronological position of steatite tablets inscribed
deposits. As a result, the ceramic sequence from the with Indus scripts in Harappa Period 3C based on the
Early phase (c. 2500 - 2300 BCE) to the Late phase stratigraphic evidence of their occurrences at the site
(c. 2300 - 1900 BCE) of the Urban period was well of Harappa. If the chronological or diachronic chang-
traced (Manmohan Kumar et al. 2011, 2012; Uesugi es of various artefacts of the Urban period would be
2011a, 2011b, 2017; Uesugi and Dangi 2017). The revealed and be correlated with each other, the so-
developments of the Bara-style pottery in the Late cio-cultural transformation of the urban society could
phase of the Urban period was also revealed. eventually be examined based on the changes on the
Another example of the stylistic analyses on ce- material culture.
ramics to establish the chronology is the work by G. For the understanding of the decline process of
Quivron (2000) on the painting motifs on the Hara- the urban society around 1900 BCE, the more refined
ppa-style painted pottery (Figure 9). By examining chronology is crucial. While the decline of urban
the stylistic variations and their stratigraphic contexts society has generally been understood as the disap-
of the Harappa-style painted pottery unearthed pearance of cities and the writing system, it is almost
from Nausharo, he divides the developments of the uncertain how the material culture changed in the
Harappa-style painted pottery into three phases and decline process of the urban society. It appears that
discusses that the origin of the Harappa painting style the decline of the urban society did not abruptly hap-
may have been located in Sindh and that the Harap- pen, but it is a complex process that was going on for
pa painted pottery dispersed into the Greater Indus a certain period of time. In order to trace the decline
Valley during the first phase. This is a good example of process in detail, the chronological scale must be more

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Earliest phase
1-6: Chanhudaro (after Mackay 1943)
7-13: Nausharo (after Quivron 2000)
14, 15, 18, 20: Harappa (after Vats 1940)
16, 17, 19: Mohenjodaro (after Marshall 1931;
Mackay 1938)

Early phase

Middle phase

Late phase

Figure 9 Diachronic changes in the painting style of the Harappa-style pottery


(made by the author based on the examination by Quivron 2000)

- 14 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

40 cm

Farmana Cemetery Phase 3


30 cm
Farmana Cemetery Phase 2

Farmana Cemetery Phase 1

Farmana Cemetery Phase 4

20 cm
Bedwa-2 cemetery

10 cm
Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3
Phase 4 0

Figure 10 Diachronic changes of the morphology of the Harappan pots (left) and dish-on-stands (right)
(after Uesugi 2013)

refined. It has been pointed out that a significant use) elements. In other words, some socio-cultural
change happened on ceramics in Period 4 at Harappa or functional needs of users, socio-cultural groups or
(Kenoyer 1995), to which the emergence of regional society were substantiated through particular tech-
styles of the Harappa-style pottery as mentioned nologies. Therefore, the examination of any artefacts
earlier might have been related. Although the inter- must be made to understand these essential elements
connection between these changes on the ceramics of artefacts.
and the decline of the urban society is not yet clear, It is well known that various ceramic styles ap-
the changes of various elements of the material culture peared and disappeared since the Pre-Urban period
must be examined to reveal their interconnection to in the Greater Indus Valley (Figure 8), but a few
see the dynamics of the urban society. attempts have been made to reveal the technological,
morphological and functional relations between
Studies on crafts them. There are a number of issues to be examined
Ceramics regarding the ceramics of the region; for example, the
The studies on ceramics in the Indus archaeology are interrelations between the ceramic styles during the
not well advanced. The ceramics are generally used Pre-Urban period in Balochistan, the Indus Valley, the
as a chronological indicator for the three divisions Ghaggar Valley and Gujarat; how the Harappa-style
mentioned earlier and as a spatial marker for demar- pottery that characterised the Urban period made its
cating regional cultures. However, the potentiality of appearance and dispersed to a vast area of the Greater
ceramics is not fully examined for understanding the Indus Valley, how it was related to other ceramic styles
temporal and spatial patterns as attempts to reveal the in its developments and how the ceramics including
details of the ceramic styles, composition and mor- the Harappa-style pottery changed in the decline pro-
phological variation are limited. cess.
Not only ceramics but also artefacts, in general, It is not sufficient for understanding the ceramics
are comprised of technological, morphological and only to reveal the stratigraphic positions of ceramic
functional (including the traits given at the time of styles in excavations. Based on the stratigraphic oc-

- 15 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Punjab Ghaggar

6 7
Late Phase

28 29 30 31

8 9 10

32

33 34

11 12 13
Middle Phase

20 21 22 23 24 25

4 5 26 27

1 - 13: Harappa (after Wheeler 1947)


14 - 18, 20 - 27: Farmana (after Uesugi 2011a, 2011b)
19: Rakhigarhi (Collection by Vivek Dangi; drawn by
the author)
28 - 34: Mitathal (after Manmohan Kumar et al. 2011,
2012)
Early Phase

19

1 2 3
14 15 16 17 18
0 20cm

Figure 11 Diachronic changes of the morphology of the Harappan pots (made by the author)

- 16 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Sindh/Central Balochistan Gujarat

11
35
36

34
37

12 13 14 15
Late Phase

0 20cm

38

39 27 40 41
16 17 18 19 20
1/6
1 - 10: Nausharo (after Quivron 1994, 1997, 2000)
11 - 20: Mohenjodaro (after Mackay 1938) 26
21 - 41: Kanmer (Uesugi and Meena 2012)

27

5 28
Middle Phase

0 20cm 29

30

31

32

7 8 9 10

1/6
33

0 20cm
21
Early Phase

0 20cm
22

23

24 25

0 20cm
1 2 3 4

1/6 1/6

Figure 11 (contd.) Diachronic changes of the morphology of the Harappan pots (made by the author)

- 17 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

currence, the ceramic evidence must be examined in dus Valley. The Kot Diji pottery that developed in the
terms of technological, morphological and functional Indus Valley during the early third millennium BCE
aspects, and the ceramic styles that can be defined by is also characterised by the modelling technique using
the elements mentioned above must be compared and wheels (most probably wheel-fashioned), which was
correlated in using the ceramic evidence for under- probably introduced from central Balochistan by con-
standing the socio-cultural aspects of the Indus Civili- tacts. The extensive use of wheels can be attested in
zation. the Harappa-style pottery of the Urban period (Figure
Although not so systematic, the technological 12), although it is not certain how widespread the
aspects of the Indus ceramics, especially regarding technique of modelling vessels from clay set on wheels
the use of wheels in the modelling process, have been was in its Early phase. Especially medium to large-
examined by Courty and Roux (1995), Roux (1994) sized vessels seem to have been made using the coil
and Roux and Courty (1998). Traditionally, the tech- technique and finished with the rotational smoothing
nological aspects of Indus ceramics have been argued with wheels. During the Middle and Late phases of
in terms of whether they were wheel-made or hand- the Urban phase, vessels with a slender profile such as
made, but there are various techniques for modelling goblet and beaker predominantly increased (Figure
ceramics. In the case of 'wheel-made' pottery, some 11) indicating that the technique of modelling vessels
were primarily modelled by the coil technique and from clay set on a wheel was widely introduced for
then turned on a wheel to finish the modelling, while producing these vessels. The goblets with a pointed
others were modelled from clay set on a wheel using base and small beakers are also indicative of the use of
fast rotation. Some of 'handmade' pottery were mod- wheels for their primary modelling.
elled primarily by the hand modelling technique such On the other hand, the Sothi-Siswal pottery in
as the coil technique, and then rotational smoothing the Ghaggar Valley and the Anarta pottery in Gujarat,
was applied to some part of the vessel while other both of which had developed since the fourth millen-
parts were finished by non-rotational techniques. The nium BCE, are distinctly characterised by the hand
burnishing technique is also quite common in some or non-rotational modelling techniques with a partial
regions like Gujarat. These diverse techniques have use of rotative devices (Figures 13 and 14). While
not been well examined in the case of the Indus ce- the rim-neck portion of these groups of pottery was
ramic studies. applied with rotational smoothing, the body portion
Overviewing the technological developments was finished by non-rotational smoothing as indicat-
of ceramics in the Greater Indus Valley based on ed by the traces of smoothing in irregular directions.
the author's study, the modelling technique de- As discussed later, these regional ceramics continued
pending largely on the use of wheels (wheel-made into the Urban phase without any change in the tech-
or wheel-fashioned) predominantly developed in nological aspects. The Black-and-Red Ware that had
Balochistan during the late fourth millennium BCE, its origin in Rajasthan during the Pre-Urban period
most probably due to the contacts with the south- and spread over Gujarat during the Late phase of the
eastern Iranian plateau. It appears that the technique Urban period is also conspicuous for the limited use
of modelling a vessel from clay set on a wheel (wheel- of rotational devices (Figure 15). Thus, clear regional
made) was introduced in central Balochistan during differences in the use of rotative devices can be seen
the early third millennium BCE (Mehrgarh Period VI across the Greater Indus Valley. The burnishing tech-
and VII) in prior to the other parts of the Greater In- nique, which is widely seen on the Anarta pottery,

- 18 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

1 2

3 4

5 6

7 8

Figure 12 Manufacturing techniques on the Harappa-style pottery from Farmana (after Uesugi 2011a)
1-4: smoothening with rotation, 5-8: scraping with rotation

- 19 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

1 2

3 4

5 6

7 8

Figure 13 Manufacturing techniques on the Sothi-Siswal-style pottery from Farmana (after Uesugi 2011a)
1-4: smoothening without rotation, 5-8: scraping without rotation

- 20 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

1 2

3 4

5 6

7 8

Figure 14 Manufacturing techniques on the Anarta-style pottery from Kanmer (after Uesugi and Meena 2012)
1-8: Rotational and non-rotational smoothing

- 21 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

1 2

3 4

Figure 15 Manufacturing techniques on BRW from Kanmer (after Uesugi and Meena 2012)
1-4: streak burnishing

1 2

3 4

Figure 16 Manufacturing techniques on the Sothi-Siswal-style pottery from Mitathal (made by the author)
1-4: Rotational and non-rotational smoothing, 3-4: streak burnishing

- 22 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

the Black-and-Red Ware and the Sothi-Siswal pottery Post-Urban periods, but the details of the morpholog-
(Figures 14 - 16), is not predominant in the ceramics ical variations, especially from the viewpoint of the di-
of the regions west of the Indus Valley indicating that achronic and spatial changes, have not been examined.
the burnishing technique was closely connected with The temporal and spatial variability of ceramic mor-
the ceramics in the east in which the use of rotative phology must be analysed to see the relations between
devices was not common. various ceramic styles and the diachronic changes of
For the ceramics of the Post-Urban period (1900 - the ceramics.
1500 BCE), the Cemetery H pottery is distinctive in For the morphological differences between the
the use of the burnishing technique, which might have Kot Diji-style pottery and its successor, the Harap-
been introduced from the regions east of the Indus pa-style pottery, P.C. Jenkins examines the examples
Valley. It seems that the technique of the coil model- from stratigraphic contexts at Harappa ( Jenkins
ling and rotational finish was used in the Cemetery H 1994a). With regard to the Harappa-style pottery,
pottery. The Bara-style pottery in the Ghaggar Valley, the analyses by G.F. Dales and J.M. Kenoyer (1986)
which was closely related to the Cemetery H pottery on the pottery from Mohenjodaro, by P.C. Jenkins on
(Wheeler 1947), also has the same technological fea- the evidence from Cemetery R37 at Harappa (1994b,
tures as the Cemetery H pottery. The Rangpur Period 2000, 2005) and by the author on the evidence from
IIC pottery is also characterised by the predominant Farmana (Uesugi 2013a) are noteworthy. For the ce-
use of the burnishing technique, which was continu- ramic sequence from the Pre-Urban to Urban periods
ously adopted by the succeeding Lustrous Red Ware. in central Balochistan, G. Quivron (1994) examines
It is worth mentioning that the paddle-and-anvil the evidence from Nausharo.
technique was not used in the ceramics of the Greater In examining the morphological variability,
Indus Valley. It seems that this technique had its ori- complete specimens, mostly from graves, must be
gin in the Ganga Valley (Tewari et al. 2006) and that analysed, but the published evidence for the pottery
it became predominant in entire North India during from graves are still limited (Wheeler 1947; Shinde
the Iron Age of the late second and first millennia et al. eds. 2011b; Sharma 1999; Rao 1985). Therefore,
BCE (Uesugi in press). the morphological variability of the Harappa-style
Regarding the polychrome painted pottery in pottery over 700 years of the Urban period is yet to be
Balochistan, several studies have been conducted on fully understood. As some forms of vessels that are ab-
the chemical composition of pigments used for the sent in the assemblage from graves are found in settle-
paintings (Cortesi et al. 2016; Didier et al. 2016). ment sites, it is important to thoroughly examine the
However, similar analyses have not been made on evidence both from graves and settlements to develop
the monochrome or bichrome pottery in the Indus a full understanding on the emergence, developments
Valley and its east. The painting process of the painted and transformation of the Harappa-style pottery.
pottery has not also been discussed so far, but it may The author discusses the morphological changes in
contribute to the further understanding of the region- the ceramics from the Late phase of the Urban period
al ceramic styles. to the Post-Urban period focusing on the evidence
The study on the morphology of ceramics is also from Mitathal in Haryana (Uesugi and Dangi 2017).
not so popular. As stated earlier, the morphological It is argued that the Bara-style pottery, which was de-
traits of ceramics are used to demarcate the three fined by Y.D. Sharma (1982) as the diagnostic pottery
chronological units, viz. Pre-Urban, Urban and in the Ghaggar Valley, emerged out of the stylistic

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

amalgamation of the Harappa-style pottery and the period (Figure 8: 3) are noteworthy (Uesugi 2013a,
Sothi-Siswal pottery in the Late phase of the Urban 2018) as it is a contrast to the Early phase of the
period and continued to the Post-Urban period. Urban period when a homogeneous Harappa-style
It has been becoming more evident that the re- pottery was widespread over the Greater Indus Valley.
gional ceramic styles that had developed in various This phenomenon may reflect the change in the inter-
parts of the Greater Indus Valley during the Pre-Urban action and integration system of urban society during
periods continued into the Urban period along with the Late phase. It clearly exemplifies the importance
the widespread Harappa-style pottery. In the Ghaggar of the stylistic-chronological examinations on the ma-
Valley, the continuation of the Sothi-Siswal pottery terial culture.
has been attested at Farmana (Uesugi 2011a, 2011b), With regard to the functional aspects of the
Mitathal (Manmohan Kumar et al. 2011, 2012) and ceramics, it is noteworthy that there was a diversifi-
Masudpur I and VII (Parikh and Petrie 2016). In the cation in forms of the ceramics in Balochistan during
graves at Farmana (Seman-6), both the Harappa-style the early third millennium BCE (Mehrgarh Period
pottery and the local Sothi-Siswal pottery were found VI and VII) and in the Harappa-style pottery of the
together as grave goods well testifying the coexistence Urban period, which might have been related to a
of the two ceramic styles during the Urban period. change in the functions or use of ceramic vessels, that
Also in Gujarat, it has been observed in the excava- is the culinary and food-serving style of the people or
tions at Kanmer (Uesugi and Meena 2012) and Shi- the society. The Harappa-style pottery is comprised
karpur (the author's examination on the pottery from of various forms such as tableware, drinking vessels,
the site with the permission from Dr P. Ajithprasad) cooking vessels and storage vessels, which show a dis-
that the Anarta pottery that had locally developed in tinctive difference from the ceramics of the Pre-Urban
the fourth millennium BCE continued to the Urban and Post-Urban periods. The residue analyses (starch
phase. In Balochistan, the Harappa-style pottery that grain analysis and lipid residue analysis) that are cur-
had no genealogical relations with the local ceramic rently becoming popular in South Asian archaeology
styles became widespread and predominant over the (Kashyap and Weber 2013; Suryanarayan, in prep.,
region during the Early phase of the Urban period, pers. comm.) may reveal the diversification of the use
but in the Late phase of the Urban period, the Kul- of ceramic vessels. The presence of drinking vessels
li-style pottery that is remarkably characterised by the might have been related to the consumption of some
elements of the local tradition widely emerged and kind of alcohol.
took place of the predominant position in the ceram- It is also noteworthy that the complex paintings
ic assemblage of the region from the Harappa-style consisting of various figurative and geometric motifs
pottery, as attested in the evidence from Nindowari are confined to some particular forms of vessels such
and Nausharo ( Jarrige 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, as large jars, S-shaped jars and ledged pots. These
1994, 1997; Jarrige et al. 2011; Jarrige and Quivron forms seem to have been used as storage vessels as
2008; Quivron 2008). suggested by the presence of lids for these vessels.
As stated earlier, the emergences of regional Hara- Some of the large jars and S-shaped jars have an ex-
ppa ceramic styles such as the Bara-style pottery in the traordinary size exceeding 1 m in height. These vessels
Ghaggar Valley, the Late-phase Harappa-style pottery were painted with figurative and geometric motifs in a
in Sindh and Punjab, and Sorath Harappa-style pot- systematic pattern over their wide area. Although it is
tery in Gujarat during the Late phase of the Urban not certain what kind of values or meanings they were

- 24 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

given, the wide distribution of these painted storage Three volumes of the corpora of seals and in-
vessels indicates that they were special containers. scribed objects from the Greater Indus Valley ( Joshi
Their values and meanings may have been related to and Parpola 1987; Shah and Parpola 1991; Parpola
the widespread dispersals of the Harappa-style pot- et al. 2010) provide fundamental information about
tery. The examination of the contexts of these vessels Indus seals, but the lack of the archaeological contexts
in sites might help understand the role of these vessels. for many seals is a great obstacle for the study of seals.
It should be noted that a number of painted Since no seal has been found in the context of graves
pottery of the Balochistan tradition appeared in the in the Greater Indus Valley, it appears that the values
antiquity markets and were purchased by museums and meaning of Indus seals were closely connected
of many countries. The documentation and publica- with the activities of people in settlements including
tion of these collections have been made by scholars cities. However, there is no clear-cut distribution
(Uesugi 2012, 2013b, 2013c, 2018; Konasukawa pattern related to any particular type of structure or
et al. 2011b, 2012; Shudai et al. 2009, 2010, 2013, context directly showing the function of seals. For
2015; Franke and Cortesi 2015), but the large-scale example, the excavations at Farmana yielded four
outflow of these archaeological items is a serious seals from floor-levels or occupational deposits inside
problem for South Asian archaeology, as conducting mud-brick structure, not from any specific contexts.
archaeological excavations in Balochistan is currently Although it is apparent that seals were valuable items
difficult. The loss of archaeological contexts in these for the people of the Indus society, their archaeologi-
artefacts makes it difficult to assess the importance of cal contexts do not demonstrate their values. It can be
Balochistan in the history of the Indus Civilization. It assumed that the seals were not stored in some special
is an urgent task to seek for some measures to relocate buildings and that they were discarded in a casual
the information from these museum collections back manner. It is expected that the measures to store seals
to the original archaeological contexts in Balochistan. or the patterns of discard will become clearer in exca-
vations in future.
Seals The seals used during the Pre-Urban period were
Seals predominantly made of stones, especially ste- the geometric seals that probably had its origin in the
atite, is an item representing the Indus Civilization. Iranian plateau (Figures 17 and 18) (Uesugi 2011d).
The Indus seals, which became widespread during the It suggests that the Greater Indus Valley was a part of
Urban period, are small artefacts having a size of 2 - 5 the interaction sphere connecting to the Iranian pla-
cm, but they are distinctive in having unique features teau during the Pre-Urban period. In this connection,
such as square shape with a knob, carved iconography, the emergence of the seals with concentric patterns
signs and scripts, and the highly skilled technologies over the northeastern part of Balochistan, Punjab
of carving and firing steatite at a high temperature and the Ghaggar Valley during the early third mil-
to turn it into a white colour. This distinctive type lennium BCE is noteworthy (Uesugi 2011d) (Figure
of seals occurs not only in the Greater Indus Valley 19). Since it was the time-period when the geometric
but also in Mesopotamia and southern Central Asia. seals expanded over Punjab and the Ghaggar, it is
In the Arabian Peninsula, there are a fair number of not unlikely that the expansion of the interaction
round steatite seals that share the elements of the In- network urged the society in Punjab and the Ghaggar
dus seals suggesting the importance of the Indus seals Valley to invent their seal type. Thus, it seems that the
in the interregional contacts over Southwest Asia. connection with the Iranian plateau had an unignor-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

3500BCE

PHASE 1 Period IV

Rehman Dheri

Iranian-type seal

Period V

3000BCE

Appearance of seal with concentric circles

EARLY HARAPPAN PERIOD


Period VI
PHASE 2

Rehman Dheri

Period VII
Mehrgarh

Gumla Tarakai Qila Kunal Harappa


2500BCE
PHASE 3

Nausharo Nagwada Bagasara

Indus seal with its Continuance of geometric seal


original iconography
HARAPPAN PERIOD

Figure 17 Diachronic changes of seals in the Greater Indus Valley (after Uesugi 2011d)

Tepe Hissar

Tepe Sialk

Tarakai Qila

Gumla

Mundigak Rehman Dheri

Harappa
Shahdad Shahr-i Sokhta
Kunal
Mehrgarh Kalibangan
Tal-i Malyan
Nausharo Tarkhanewala Dera

Baror
Jiroft

Tepe Yahya

Bampur Khurab

Shahi Tump

Figure 18 Spatial distribution of geometric seals in Southwest Asia (made by the author)

- 26 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Gumla

Harappa

Rehman Dheri
Tarakai Qila

Mehrgarh Kunal

Mundigak

* *

Tarkhanewala Dera

Baror
* * *

*
Nausharo Bagasara

Nagwada

Figure 19 Spatial distribution of geometric seals in the Greater Indus Valley


(The ones with an asterisk were recovered from the Urban period level; made by the author)

able influence on the emergence of complex society/ Indus Valley and expanded the connections between
ies over the Greater Indus Valley. The exanpation of the regions (Figure 8: 2).
geometric seals is likely to have been related to the However, the stylistic gap between the Pre-Urban
Kot Diji culture. This culture that developed over the geometric seals and the Indus seals of the Urban pe-
Indus Valley during the early third millennium BCE riod is too large to consider that the geometric seals
played a significant role in expanding the interaction were the prototype of the Indus seals. It appears that
network, as the archaeological evidence indicates that the Indus seal with its own design was invented at
this culture penetrated the surrounding regions of the some point of time in the process of the emergence of

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

the urban society. If the assumption that the seal was society, but the other animals also had some special
an indispensable tool for controlling the interaction meaning due to its rareness. To date, the differentiated
system can be accepted, the invention of the Indus iconographic meanings that are likely to have been
seal was of a political and economic aim of the urban given to different animals have not been revealed
society. Further studies are expected to reveal how and by their archaeological contexts in sites, but future
when the Indus seal made its appearance in connec- studies must focus on the different meanings or roles
tion with other elements of the material culture. of various iconographic motifs. In connection to this,
One of the recent remarkable advances in the the predominance of short-horned bull on the Gulf
Indus seal studies is the examinations on the iconogra- type seals in Bahrain is noteworthy suggesting its spe-
phy and the carving technology of the Indus seals. For cial meaning or value.
the iconography carved on seals, the unicorn counts One of the Indus seal types having an animal motif
70 - 80 % of the total number of Indus seals, while the facing right and a semi-cylindrical knob, which differ
rest of them depict various animals such as humped from the typical Indus seals, has been given attention
bull, bison, buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, tiger and so of scholars (Figure 20: 3) (Uesugi et al. 2017; Ameri
on. 2013; Jamison 2018 in this volume). The number of
The preponderance of unicorns clearly indicates this seal is quite limited compared to the typical type
its special meaning in the iconography of the Indus with an animal facing left (Figure 20: 1-2), but a fair
seals (Kenoyer 2013). Unicorn does not have any rep- number of this type has been found in the Ghaggar
resentation during the Pre-Urban period suggesting Valley although it also occurs in the other parts of
that this animal was a part of the Urban Indus icono- the Indus Valley in a limited number suggesting that
graphic programme that emerged along with Indus this type might have been a regional type among the
seals around the beginning of the Urban period. In Indus seals. It has been suggested that this type may
addition to these animal motifs, some composite an- represent an earlier type of the Indus seals (Kenoyer
imals and composite mythical or ritual scenes are de- and Meadow 2010), but it is difficult to prove it in the
picted on a limited number of specimens (Frenez and present state of our information about seals. Notewor-
Vidale 2012). These examples clearly demonstrate the thy is that the depiction style of the animals on this
complex iconographic and ideological system of the type resembles that of Dilmun seals found in Bahrain,
urban society, which was created with the emergence especially in terms of the large round eyes. This style
of the urban society. of eyes, which is also similar to that of the Faiz Mo-
While several scholars argue the iconographic hammad-style pottery and the Kulli-style pottery,
variations especially of unicorns (Franke-Vogt 1991; suggests that it belongs to a style different from that
Rissman 1989), recent studies focused on the more of the typical Indus seals. Examinations on stylistic
systematic metric analysis of animal motifs ( Jamison and technological features of seals are crucial for iden-
2016; Uesugi et al. 2017). The classification of animals tifying different types of the Indus seals and for better
based on the combination of metric values of animals understanding the developments of the Indus seals
aims at identifying the workshops where seals were over the Greater Indus Valley.
produced. The analyses on the carving technology on Indus
The question is what the different animals and seals can be divided into two types, the Replica-SEM
iconographic designs represent. It is certain that the examination ( Jamison 2013, 2016; Uesugi et al. 2017;
unicorn was given some special meaning in the Indus Konasukawa 2015) and the examination using photos

- 28 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

1: Bagasra, Gujarat

2: Farmana, Haryana
Group 1 (typical type) of Indus seals

3: Farmana, Haryana

Group 2 (atypical type) of Indus seals


Figure 20 Iconographic variations of Indus seals
(not to scale; made by the author; courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Ancient History,
the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda for the image of the seal from Bagasra)

(Green 2010). The former method, which was devel- nologies.


oped by J.M. Kenoyer, attempts to identify the tools One of the serious problems we face is the difficul-
used for carving motifs, the details of the carvings and ty in determining the time-period to which each seal
the carving process on seals (Figure 21). The latter belongs and in reconstructing the diachronic changes
aims at revealing the carving process. Although a few in seals. As stated earlier, Indus seals are found only in
samples have been analysed by these methods so far, it occupational contexts, but the stratigraphic contexts
has been demonstrated that the carving technologies of seals in sites do not necessarily exhibit the time-pe-
differ between the typical Indus seals and the atypical riod of the production of seals. A fair amount of
type mentioned above suggesting that the different unfinished seals that have been recovered at a few sites
depiction styles were related to different carving tech- cannot help us identify their stylistic and technologi-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 21 SEM images of the carving technology on a seal from Bhirrana (after Uesugi et al. 2017)

cal features because they do not have carved elements. studies expand our knowledge on the Indus orna-
It is uncertain how long or how many generations ments based on the perspectives that Kenoyer has
seals were passed on, and the stratigraphic contexts developed.
only exhibit the time of discards. In addition, there are A great number of materials related to stone or-
a number of seals whose contexts are not well known naments unearthed from Dholavira have been under
making it difficult to identify the time-period of their study by V.N. Prabhakar and R.S. Bisht (Prabhakar
discards. The stylistic and technological studies must et al. 2012). There are a number of sites with the
be connected to the examinations of the stratigraphic evidence of stone bead production in Gujarat where
contexts to understand the developments of Indus the sources of various semiprecious stones used for
seals. beads are located, not only large-scale urban centres
like Dholavira but also small-scale sites such as Kan-
Stone bead ornaments mer (Kharakwal et al. 2012), Bagasra (Sonawane et
The study on the Indus ornaments has been remarka- al. 2003), Shikarpur (the author's examination of the
bly advanced by the studies by J.M. Kenoyer. Recent materials from the excavation at this site), Khirsara

- 30 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Northwest India North India South India

1-5, 7: Farmana 2600 BC


6: Mohenjodaro
8-10: Bedwa-2
Urban Indus

1 11-20: Bhagwanpura
4
21-24 Narhan Period II
25-29: Bhir Mound
2
30-34: Atranjikhera Period III
35: Narhan Period III
5
3 6 36, 37: Sirkap
1900 BC
Bronze Age

38-39: Probably from Taxila


40-42, 47, 49: Atranjikhera Period IV
43: Sonkh Period II
44-45, 48, 55: Ahichchhatra
Post-Urban Indus

46: Sonkh Period II


8
50, 51: Wari Bateshwar
9 52-54: Narhan Period IV
56-58, 61: Khapa
7
59-60, 62: Porkalam
63: Mahurjhari
10
Note : except for the ones from
Farmana, the illustrations were made
from photos published in reports.
1300 BC
Late second mill BC

11

13
14 15

South Indian Megalithic


12 1000 BC
Early first mill BC

21
Iron Age

16 17 18 19

20

22 23 24 600 BC
Mid- first mill BC

26
25
27
30
31 32

28 29 56 57 58 59 60
33
35 34 300 BC
Late first mill BC

43

38 39
40 41 42 61
62
63

36 37
44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 Beginning of CE
Historical Period

AD early first mill

52 53
54 AD 300
AD mid- first mill

Carnelian

Jasper

Others
55
AD 600

Figure 22 Chronological chart of stone beads in South Asia (made by the author)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

(Nath et al. 2013) and so on. Stone beads that are using the Replica-SEM method (Figure 24) has also
likely to have been produced in the Indus Valley have been developed by J.M. Kenoyer and others (Kenoyer
been known in the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia 1997; Kenoyer and Vidale 1992), especially on the ex-
and southern Central Asia (Reade 1979; Possehl amples from Harappa, and has recently been applied
1996; Aruz ed. 2003; Sarianidi 2007; De Waele and to other sites (Uesugi et al. 2018). It has been revealed
Haerinck 2006) suggesting that the Indus beads were by Kenoyer that ernestite drills were predominantly
widely considered as a valuable item in Southwest used for drilling beads during the Urban period (Fig-
Asia. As it can be presumed that they were highly ure 24: top), among which constricted cylindrical
valued in the Indus urban society as well, it seems that drills and shorter tapering drills are known. While the
the production and distribution were controlled by latter was used for shorter beads, the former, which
some authorities or elites. The fact that stone beads enabled making a longer straight hole, seems to have
were produced at many sites in Gujarat demonstrates been developed exclusively for longer beads. As, tech-
that the stone bead production was not so strongly nologically, the former can be considered as a technol-
centralised, but in discussing the control over the ogy more developed than the latter, it is likely that the
crafts including beads, the whole process starting from former was developed chronologically later than the
acquisition of raw materials through production to latter. However, the SEM examinations on beads from
distribution must be examined. the Urban period show that both the types were used
The discovery of a few unfinished beads and debit- for drilling during the period. Further examinations
age at some sites in the Ghaggar Valley such as at Far- on examples from more sites including the ones from
mana and Mitathal suggests that stone bead produc- bead workshops are needed to better understand the
tions in some scale were also conducted in a region far chronological and functional relationship between
from stone sources (Figure 23). The beads produced at different drilling technologies.
these sites belong to short types, which are remarkably In relation to this issue, the examples from Mitath-
shorter than the examples from Gujarat. As longer al are noteworthy. The surface patterns of the holes
beads require a higher skill in making a hole through of the agate beads from Mitathal (Figure 24: middle)
them, it is not unlikely that only shorter beads that are distinctly different from that of the ernestite drill
were relatively easier to be drilled were produced at that was predominantly attested in the examples from
these sites. The absence at these sites of constricted Farmana (Uesugi et al. 2018). The profiles of holes
cylindrical drills of ernestite, which were used for are not straight but winding in these specimens from
drilling beads during the Urban period, especially for Mitathal indicating that the drill used was softer than
longer beads and were widely found in Gujarat, may the ernestite drill that created a very smooth surface.
also indicate that the nature and scale of the bead pro- It seems that the drill used was a tubular copper drill
duction in the Ghaggar Valley differed from that of (Kenoyer pers. comm.). One of the possible inter-
Gujarat. Further examination on more samples from pretations is that the uses of different drills were due
more sites is needed to better understand the produc- to the chronological difference between Farmana (c.
tion and distribution patterns of stone beads in the 2500 - 2300 BCE) and Mitathal (c. 2300 - 1900 BCE)
Greater Indus Valley where the sources of stones used (these dates were given based on 14C dates and ceram-
for beads were unevenly located in particular regions ic evidence). In this interpretation, it means that the
of the Greater Indus Valley. tubular copper drill was introduced during the Late
The study on the drilling technology of beads phase of the Urban period. Another interpretation

- 32 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Farmana/Mitathal Kanmer Production stage

Nodule
12

Split
13
1

Blank
14

2 3
4

16

5
7 Modelling by
6 chipping
15

17

X
8

Grinding

19 20
18

Perforation
21 and polishing
9 10 11
22 23 24

Figure 23 Reconstruction of bead production process at Farmana (nos. 1-5, 7-11), Mitathal (no. 6) and Kanmer (12-24)
(after Uesugi et al. 2018)

- 33 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Surface Pattern 1
Extraordinarily smooth.
Fine-grained stone (Ernestite)
drill.
Samples 1 & 2: Farmana, Hary-
ana, India. Urban Indus period.

Surface Pattern 3
Shallow parallel grooves.
Copper tubular drill (?).
Samples 1 & 2: Mitathal, Hary-
ana, India. Urban Indus period.

Surface Pattern 4
Deep parallel grooves with
rugged surface.
Diamond drill (?).
Sample 6: Bedwa-2, Haryana,
India. Post-Urban Indus period
(?)
Sample 7: Kanmer, Gujarat,
India. Historical period.

Figure 24 Distinctive surface patterns of drilled holes of beads (after Uesugi et al. 2018)

may be that different types of drills were concurrently tion to the situation of the decrease in the supply of
used at different workshops in the Urban period. stone beads from the workshops in Gujarat. Further
Another noteworthy evidence is that stone beads researches are needed to testify this hypothesis and to
were extremely limited in number at Mitathal com- reveal the change in the production and distribution
pared to the large number of beads from Farmana, patterns of crafts in connection to the decline process
although it must be noted that the excavated area at of the urban society, especially during the Late phase
Mitathal was notably smaller than that of Farmana. of the Urban period.
If it can be assumed that the supply of stone beads With regard to the morphology and size of beads,
decreased during the Late phase of the Urban period the metrical analysis on the stone beads from Farma-
than the Early phase, it may be that the production na have revealed that the dimensions of beads vary
and distribution patterns of stone beads also changed according to the varieties of stones such as steatite,
in the Late phase. The predominant increase of faience carnelian, agate and jasper (Figure 25) (Konasukawa
ornaments in the Late phase, as evidenced at Mitathal, et al. 2011; Uesugi et al. 2018). For example, while
also reinforces the possibility of the decrease of stone steatite beads consist of extra-short disc, short cylin-
beads in the Late phase. Although it is not beyond drical and medium cylindrical beads, many of agate
imagination, the introduction of the tubular copper and jasper beads have a medium size, a few of them
drill at Mitathal may suggest a technological adapta- belonging to the long class. This suggests that each

- 34 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

Carnelian Extra-long

Agate

Jasper

Chalcedony

Steatite

Amazonite
Long
Length (mm)

Medium

Short

Extra-short

Width (mm)
Figure 25 Metrical distribution of stone beads from Farmana (after Uesugi et al. 2018)

stone variety had its function, value or meaning. between the Pre-Urban and Urban periods must be
The scarcity of long beads at Farmana is also in- examined by future studies. The beads of the Urban
teresting. As higher skill of craftsmanship is needed period is characterised by the presence of long and ex-
to make longer beads, it is likely that the amount of tra-long beads, but the question is when these longer
longer beads, especially extra-long beads, produced beads made their appearance. This question also per-
and distributed was limited compared to the shorter tains to the introduction of the drilling technology
ones. Similar metrical analyses at other sites will reveal using ernestite drills. As the emergence of the highly
the distribution pattern and the values of beads of skilled and specialised craft production and the trades
each stone. The composition of ornaments using var- of crafts is closely related to the developments of the
ious beads has not been so well understood, but the urban society, the diachronic examinations of crafts
morphology and size of beads must have been closely are unavoidably needed.
related to the composition of ornaments and the sta- Similarly, the relationships between the craft pro-
tus of the person who wore them. Thus, the composi- duction including beads and the decline process of the
tion of ornaments is to be examined in future. urban society are also important to be addressed for
As is the case of seals, the diachronic changes further study. As stated earlier, the scarcity of stone
of the morphology and technology of beads have beads at Mitathal is relevant to this issue. The stone
not been well understood. The differences in beads beads unearthed from the excavations at Sanauli, a

- 35 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Post-Urban cemetery site in the Ganga-Yamuna Doab chemical composition and microstructure of copper/
region (Sharma et al. 2004, 2006), are expected to be bronze samples from Farmana and Mitathal in Har-
examined to see how the bead production changed yana and characterised the technological features of
after or in the process of the decline of the urban soci- the copper/bronze objects. Attempts to identify the
ety. sources of bronze using the lead isotope analysis have
Although the evidence regarding the stone beads been in progress (Law and Burton 2006a; Law et al.
during the late second millennium BCE is limited 2016; Prabhakar et al. 2010; Nagae pers. comm.).
as a very few sites of this period have been excavated, Recent studies for identifying the copper/bronze
the prevalence of stone beads in the Ganga Valley sources have been revealing the use of various met-
during the early first millennium BCE have been am- al sources over the Greater Indus Valley while the
ply proved by the excavations in this region (Figure sources in Oman and the Khetri region of Rajasthan
22). It is highly likely that 'diamond' drill (Figure 24: had been regarded as major sources of copper for the
bottom) had been introduced by this time showing a Indus society (Weisgerber 1984; Agrawala and Vijay
technological innovation from the Indus bead-making Kumar 1982). Along with the provenience studies on
tradition. Further excavations and study of sites of the stones and minerals as seen later, the study on the cop-
second millennium BCE will reveal the technological per/bronze sources will reveal the complex patterns
continuation and innovation of the bead production of interregional interactions and trades of the Indus
from the Indus to Ganga bead-making traditions. Tak- urban society and beyond.
ing into consideration the possibility that a large-scale
population shift happened from the Indus Valley to Lithics
the Ganga Valley during the second millennium BCE, The studies on the lithics of the Greater Indus Valley
it is not unlikely that the Indus bead-making tradition were initially conducted by J. Pelegrin, M. Inizan
was transferred to the Ganga Valley where the techno- and M. Lechevallier, especially on the technological
logical innovation happened. Further studies on beads aspects of the Rohri chert blade industry (Figure 26:
are needed to testify this hypothesis. left) of the lower Indus Valley (Sindh) and Balochistan
during the Urban period (Inizan et al. 1994; Inizan
Metal objects and Lechevallier 1990, 1997; Pelegrin 1994). Their
The number of studies on metal objects, mostly of examinations have revealed that the traditional stone
copper and bronze, is not so numerous. Most of the knapping technique using the pressure technique was
varieties of copper/bronze objects of the Greater widely exploited by the Indus lithic makers. The evi-
Indus Valley were revealed in the early excavations at dence from the excavations at the Rohri Hills (Biagi
Mohenjodaro and Harappa in the 1920s, while a few 1996; Biagi and Cremaschi 1990; Biagi and Shaikh
new varieties were added to the corpus by later exca- 1994, 1998-99; Biagi and Veesar 1998-99; Biagi and
vations. Recent studies on copper/bronze objects are Pessina 1994; Biagi et al. 1996) revealed the develop-
focused on their technological and chemical analyses. ments of this technology used for blade productions.
For the copper/bronze-making technology, the work The blades made of Rohri chert (Figure 26: left)
by J.M. Kenoyer and H.M.-L. Miller (1999) is the were distributed over the Greater Indus Valley during
most comprehensive. With regard to the metallurgical the Urban period and were predominantly used as
and chemical analyses, T. Nagae (2011, 2018 in this a cropping tool suggesting the mass production of
volume; Manmohan Kumar et al. 2012) analysed the blades using the Rohri chert and their widespread dis-

- 36 -
Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

5cm 5cm

Figure 26 Rohri chert blades (left) and chalcedony/agate blades (rights) from Kanmer (after Endo and Uesugi 2012)

tribution over the region. It is apparent that the blades lithic production persisted in Gujarat even after the
of Rohri chert were embedded in the extensive trading widespread introduction of Rohri-chert blades during
network during the Urban period. However, the pro- the Urban period depending on the subsistence strat-
duction and distribution system and their diachronic egy of local people. The diversity and complexity of
change have not been well examined. The future study the urban society can be attested in this lithic study.
must focus on the distribution and consumption As the ceramic evidence also shows, the homogeneity
pattern of the Rohri chert blades. The disappearance and diversity characterised the material culture of
of the Rohri chert blades should also be examined in Indus urban society suggesting the same in the social
connection with the decline process of the urban soci- structure. Further study on the material culture of the
ety. Indus Civilization must be conducted on these two
The recent studies made by Charusmita Gadekar contrasting aspects to reveal the dynamic nature of the
focus on the blade industry in Gujarat using local urban society, which was composed of the widespread
chalcedony/agate (Figure 26: right) (Gadekar 2015; Harappan cultural elements and the regional cultural
Gadekar et al. 2013, 2014a, 2014b, 2015; Gadekar and traditions locally developed since Pre-Urban period.
Ajithprasad 2018). The locally-produced blades were In connection to the lithics, the production tech-
widespread in Gujarat along with Rohri chert blades nology of stone artefacts such as beads and weights
during the Urban period. While the size of blades in also needs more attention (Pelegrin 1994; Inizan
this local lithic industry is remarkably smaller than 1993). As stone beads and weights were the elements
that of Rohri chert blades, a production technology of the material culture idiosyncratic to the urban so-
similar to that of the Rohri chert blades was used in ciety, it seems likely that their production was highly
the local industry in Gujarat. According to her study, controlled in some way. It is important to examine
the blade industry had developed in Gujarat since the how their production technology and system were
Mesolithic period and had continued to the Urban different from that of lithics that were consumed
Indus period, but a crested guiding ridge blade tech- more abanduntly in the daily life of the people and
nique was introduced from Sindh around the begin- how they developed in time.
ning of the third millennium BCE, while the people
in Gujarat also persisted using their local technique of Provenience studies
the quartering technique to produce blades. A series of studies by Randall Law on the proveniences
Her studies demonstrate that a local tradition of of stones and minerals (Law 2002, 2005a, 2005b,

- 37 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

2006, 2008, 2011, 2012; Law and Baqri 2001; Law et regional connections and interactions, and the trading
al. 2016; Nath et al. 2014a, 2014b) are very impor- networks. Especially, the integrated understanding of
tant for our understanding of the flow of people and the relationships between the distribution pattern of
goods and of the trading networks that sustained the raw materials and that of the finished objects is cru-
urban society. In the Greater Indus Valley, a number cial. It is important to examine how the raw materials
of stones and minerals were used for a diverse range of imported from distant sources were transformed into
purposes. Agate, carnelian, jasper, amazonite, steatite, products at workshops and how the finished products
serpentine, grossular-vesuvianite, Lapis Lazuli and so were exported to settlements in different parts of the
on, which distributed in particular localities of the urban society.
Greater Indus Valley, were used for producing orna-
ments. Sandstone and limestone were used as building
materials. In Gujarat, the buildings were constructed PERSPECTIVES FOR FUTURE STUDIES
with stones that were locally available. The studies by
Law based on the chemical characterisation of sam- The discussions made above can be summarised in the
ples from his fieldworks in sources and archaeological following points.
samples have revealed the diverse patterns of the use
of various stones, which indicate a highly complex 1) Although a number of sites have been excavated in
network connecting sources and places of consump- various parts of India and Pakistan, there are several
tion. issues to be overcome in the recording and publica-
It has been revealed that the stones and minerals tion of the results of excavations. The resolution of
distributed in particular localities were widely trans- documenting the finds in excavations is not so high
ported to the sites in various parts of the Greater In- resulting in the obscurity in the relationships between
dus Valley from the Pre-Urban period onwards. One the finds and the stratigraphy of the sites excavated.
of the most noteworthy facts that Law has revealed It is important how we can document a diverse range
is that Harappa Period 3C, which is almost contem- of information obtained from excavations and corre-
porary with the Late phase of the Urban period, wit- late them with each other to present a holistic view
nessed the most extensive use at Harappa of various towards the site excavated. The developing digital
stones and minerals brought from different parts of technology can help make the resolution of documen-
the Greater Indus Valley. As stated earlier, while the tation better.
Late phase of the Urban period is a time-period when
various changes happened in the urban society, such as 2) The surveys conducted in various parts of the
the emergence of regional styles of the Harappa-style Greater Indus Valley have enriched our knowledge
pottery and the Kulli-style pottery, the Law's studies about the Indus Civilization, but the improvement of
have unravelled the most flourishing trading network documenting sites is also necessary. The use of GNSS
during this period. It exhibits the necessity to corre- is drastically changing the nature and quality of sur-
late various kinds of evidence for better understanding veys, but further documentation and visualisation of
the developments and changes of the complex urban sites found will contribute to our better understand-
society. ing of the distribution pattern of archaeological sites.
It is expected that further studies on the material The documentation of finds from the surface and the
culture will reveal the relationships between the inter- reporting of sites are also needed to create more infor-

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Akinori Uesugi Current state of research and issues of Indus Archaeology

mation and data from the surveys. Asia, but the recent palaeo-environmental studies are
more concerned with the palaeo-climates and mi-
3) The stagnancy in chronological studies is a major cro-regional analysis on the palaeo-river channels to
obstacle for examining the diachronic changes of the understand the dynamics of the human-environment
Indus urban society. This problem is closely related to relationships. Geo-archaeological investigations are
Point 1 mentioned above. Each of three chronological also part of this trend (Schuldenrein 2002; Schulden-
units, Pre-Urban, Urban and Post-Urban periods, has rein et al. 2006).
a time span of several hundred years, which cannot be Especially, the recent palaeo-environmental stud-
helpful to trace the dynamics of the rise and fall of the ies focus on the decline of the urban society. It aims
urban society. at revealing the impact of 2.2k climate changes on the
This problem also creates another issue for un- Greater Indus Valley by focusing on the changes in the
derstanding the spatial variations in material cultures summer monsoon and the precipitation which might
across the Greater Indus Valley. Assuming that the have caused the decline of the urban society in the
Indus urban society was founded on the interrela- Indus Valley (Dixit et al. 2014).
tions between the regional societies/cultures and the The decline of the Indus Civilization has been one
interregional network, it can be presumed that the of the controversial issues of the Indus archaeology, in
developments and changes of urban society were also relation to which various hypotheses on anthropogen-
affected by regional societies and their relations. To ic or environmental factors have been proposed. Most
examine the interrelationships between regional socie- of the theories did not have hard evidence to prove
ties and the urban society, the better understanding of them, but the recent palaeo-environmental studies
the spatial variations in material cultures is essential. have been providing the data for reconstructing
environmental changes. The population shifts from
4) A diverse range of studies on various elements of the Indus Valley to the Ghaggar and Ganga Valleys
the material culture of the Greater Indus Valley has during the early second millennium BCE attested in
been revealing the unity and diversity of the Indus the changes of the distribution pattern of settlements
Civilization. However, the lack of our understanding (Figure 8: 4) (Teramura and Uno 2006) are likely to
of the diachronic and spatial variability of the mate- have been connected to the deurbanisation process. It
rial culture makes the interpretation of the results of seems that such large-scale population shifts happened
each analysis difficult for presenting the integrated due to environmental changes rather than anthropo-
picture of the Indus Civilization. Examining how the genic factors. As one moves eastwards to the Ganga
unity and diversity of the urban society diachronically Valley, the precipitation increases, and the alluvial
changed will lead to a better understanding of the land with high potential for agricultural productions
dynamics of the urbanisation and deurbanisation pro- is encountered. The population shifts must have been
cess of the Indus Civilization. associated with the changes in the settlement and sub-
sistence patterns.
The current trend in the Indus archaeology is ex- While the palaeo-environmental studies are very
tending its concern to the palaeo-environmental stud- significant in understanding the macro-scale trend
ies. Zooarchaeology and botanical archaeology, which in social change, the problem to be addressed is that
significantly contribute to our understanding of the the human or social adaptations to the environmental
palaeo-environments, have a long history in South change have not fully been explained. It seems to be

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

difficult to understand the decline process finally Sayajirao University of Baroda, and that they were
leading to the abandonment of urban centres and the published with permission from the department. It is
writing system until the process of the changes in the also mentioned that this article was published as part
society is revealed. The Indus urban society is a highly of a research project 'Establishing the Chronology of
complex one which was characterised by the extensive South Indian Prehistory' funded by the Grant-in-Aid,
urban network connecting regional societies across Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Project
the Greater Indus Valley and linking to the South- no.: 15H05164; Principal investigator: Akinori Uesu-
west Asian Civilization sphere. The exploitation of a gi).
diverse range of resources, the productions of various
commodities and crafts, the consumptions of such
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ments of the Bara Pottery in the Ghaggar Plains", in Ajit Lefèvre eds. South Asian Archaeology 2001. Editions Re-
Kumar, Rajesh S.V. and Abhayan G.S. eds. Kailashnath cherche sur les Civilisations, Paris. pp. 327-335.
Hetu: Essays in Prehistory, Protohistory and Historical Wright, R.P., J. Schuldenrein, M. Afzal Khan and S. Ma-
Archaeology (Festschrift to Shri. K.N. Dikshit), vol.1. New lin-Boyce 2005. "The Beas River Landscape and Settle-
Bharatiya Book Corporation, Delhi. pp. 177-197. ment Survey: Preliminary Results from the Site of Vainiw-
Uesugi, A., G. Jamison, V. Dangi and S. Nakayama 2017. A al", in U. Franke-Vogt and H.-J Weishaar eds. South Asian
Study on the Stylistic and Technological Aspects of Indus Archaeology 2003. Linden Soft Verlag e.K., Aachen. pp.
Seals with a Focus on an Example from Bhirrana. Herit- 101-110.
age: Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies in Archaeology 4: Wright, R. and C. Hritz 2012. "Satellite Remote Sensing Im-
1-17. agery: New Evidence for Site Distributions and Ecologies
Uesugi, A., Manmohan Kumar and V. Dangi 2018. "Indus in the Upper Indus", in D. Frenez and M. Tosi eds. South
Stone Beads in the Ghaggar Plain with a Focus on the Asian Archaeology 2007, vol. I: Prehistoric Periods. Brepols,
Evidence from Farmana and Mitathal", in D. Frenez, G.M. Turnout. pp. 315-321.
Jamison, R.W. Law, M. Vidale and R.H. Meadow eds.
Walking with the Unicorn: Social Organization and Mate-
rial Culture in Ancient South Asia, Jonathan Mark Kenoy-
er Felicitation Volume. Archaeopress, Oxford. pp. 568-591.
Uesugi, A. and S. Meena 2012. "Pottery", in J.S. Kharakwal,
Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada eds. Excavations at Kanmer
2005-06 - 2008-09. Indus Project, Research Institute for

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Vivek Dangi
(Department of History, All India Jat Heroes' Memorial College, Rohtak, Haryana)

INTRODUCTION of Prof. Suraj Bhan were the pioneers of initiating the


Harappan studies in Haryana. Suraj Bhan's students
Haryana forms a portion of the Punjab plains and rep- explored a number of sites in the Ambala district
resents one of the most fertile states of India. Since the (Malhotra 1964; Palahia 1964). Afterwards, Dr. Suraj
formation of the present river system during the Pleis- Bhan himself explored many parts of Haryana and
tocene epoch, it has been the most congenial plain for numerous new sites were added to the growing site
human habitation due to the availability of flat fertile gazetteer (Suraj Bhan 1972). Later on, the research
land and water. Due to this reason, Haryana became a scholars of Kurukshetra University, such as Silak
home to the early farming communities known as the Ram (1972), Manmohan Kumar (1978), Amar Singh
Ghaggar-Hakra culture during the Pre-Harappan pe- (1981), D.S. Punia (1976), Mohinder Singh (1980)
riod, which was later incorporated into the Harappan and so on explored many parts of Haryana. The task
culture. of conducting archaeological explorations later was
Haryana has a rich archaeological heritage and shifted to the Maharshi Dayanand University, Ro-
has been in the focus of many projects and studies htak, and the research scholars and M.Phil students
throughout the past decades (Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4). carried out surveys that resulted in the discoveries of
Archaeological investigations in the area were initi- thousands of archaeological sites (Rahar 2001; Dangi
ated during the latter half of the nineteenth century 2010; Joon 1989; Surender Kumar 1989; Kalish Ku-
by Sir Alexander Cunningham (1882). His explora- mar 1989; Kalish Kumar 1989; Lamba 1989; Ashok
tion included surveys of archaeological sites such as Kumar 1990; Dhankhar 1990; Gulab Singh 1990;
Thanesar and Sugh that were referred in early Bud- Kadian 1990; Kataria 1990; Sneh Lata 1990; Ashok
dhist literature. In the early 1950's, B.B. Lal started Kumar 1991; Yashvir Singh 1992; Dhaka 1993; Jai
an exploration in the region in order to identify the Narian 1993; Rahar 1993; Surender Kumar 1999;
sites mentioned in the Mahabharata epic (Lal 1954: Vijay Kumar 2001; Ajay 2001; Parmod Kumar 2002;
138-146). His survey led to the successful doscoveries Krishana 2008; Rajesh Kumar 2008).
of a number of sites. The students of Department of J.P. Joshi and Madhu Bala ( Joshi 1993: 251-254;
Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Madhu Bala 1992) also explored a number of archaeo-
Punjab University, Chandigarh under the guidance logical sites in Punjab and Haryana. The Archaeolog-

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Table 1 Ph.D. theses for explorations


No. Researcher Districts Institute Topic Year
1 Silak Ram Rohtak and Hisar Kurukshetra University Archaeology of Rohtak and Hisar Districts 1972
(Haryana)
2 Suraj Bhan Entire Haryana Maharaja Sayajirao Prehistoric Archaeol-ogy of the Saraswati and 1972
University of Baroda Drishadvati Valley (Haryana)
3 Gurgaon and
D.S. Punia Kurukshetra University Archaeology of Gur-gaon and Mahender-garh 1976
Mahendergarh Districts (Haryana)
4 Manmohan Kumar Ambala and Ku- Archaeology of Ambala and Kurukshetra Dis-
Kurukshetra University 1978
rukshetra tricts (Haryana)
5 Braham Dutt Entire Haryana Kurukshetra University Settlements of Painted Grey Ware in Haryana 1980
6 Amar Singh Jind and Karnal Kurukshetra University Archaeology of Jind and Karnal Districts (Hary- 1981
ana)
7 Mohinder Singh
Gurgaon Kurukshetra University Archaeology of Gurgaon District Haryana 1990
Rewari and Ma- Maharshi Dayanand Archaeological Settle-ment Pattern of Mahen-
8 Jagdish Ra-har hendergarh University dergarh and Re-wari Districts (Har-yana)
2001

9 Yogeshwar Kumar Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra University Historical Study in North Haryana (from Earli- 2003
Ambala, Panchkula est Times to 12th Century A.D.)
10 Vivek Dangi North and North- Maharishi Dayanand A Study of Proto-Historic Settlements in Upper 2010
west Haryana University Ghaggar

Table 2 M.A. and M.Phil Dissertations for explorations


No. Researcher Block/Tehsil District Institute Year
1 P.S. Malhotra Naraingarh Ambala Punjab University, Chandigarh 1964
2 Kwatra Jaghadri Yamunanagar Punjab University, Chandigarh 1964
3 M.K. Palahia Ambala Ambala Punjab University, Chandigarh 1964
4 D.S. Dhattarwal Safidon Panipat Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 1978
5 Satdev Jind Jind Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 1980
6 Yogeshwar Kumar Naraingarh Ambala Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 1987
7 Rajiv Joon Dadri-2 Bhiwani Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1989
8 Surender Kumar Meham Rohtak Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1989
9 Kalish Kumar Rohatk Rohtak Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1989
10 Mani Ram Kalanaur Rohtak Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1989
11 Krishan Kumar Lakhan Majra Rohtak Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
12 Ashok Kumar Kathura Soniapt Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
13 Ramdhan Dhankhar Gohana Sonipat Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
14 Gulab Singh Mundlana Sonipat Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
15 Rai Kadian Beri Jhajjar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
16 Rajiv Kataria Bahadurgarh Jhajjar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
17 Sneh Lata Sampla Rohtak Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1990
18 Ashok Kumar Badli Jhajjar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1991
19 Yashvir Singh Charkhi Da-dri-I Bhiwani Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1992
20 Surender Dhaka Salhawas Jhajjar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1993
21 Jai Narian Mathanhail Jhajjar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1993
22 Jagdish Rahar Jhajjar Jhajjar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1993
23 Surender Kumar Bhiwani Bhiwani Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 1999
24 Vijay Kumar Narnaund Hisar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 2001
25 Ajay Hansi-I Hisar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 2001
26 Parmod Kumar Agroha and Adampur Hisar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 2002
27 Vivek Dangi Meham Rohatk Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 2006
28 Sandeep Hansi-II Hisar Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 2006
29 Vinay Kumar Gohana Sonipat Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 2007
30 Krishana Ratia Fatehabad Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 2008
31 Rajesh Kumar Hisar-I & Hisar-II Hisar Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 2008

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Table 3 Major published work for explorations

No. Author Districts covered Title Year


1 A. Cunnigham Entire Haryana A Tour in Punjab in 1878-79 1882

2 B.B. Lal Entire Haryana Excavations at Hastinapura and Other Explorations in Uppar Ganga 1954
and Sutlej Basins
3 U.V. Singh Kurukshetra Explorations in the Vicinity of Thanesar 1976

4 Suraj Bhan and Jim G. North Haryana New Discoveries in Northern Haryana 1978
Shaffer

5 Dhoop Singh and Sirsa Exploration in District Sirsa (IAR 1983-84) 1984
Chanderpal Singh
Dhoop Singh and
6 Fatehabad Exploration in District Hisar (currently Fatehabad; IAR 1985-86) 1986
Chanderpal Singh
Excavation at Bhagwanpura 1975-76 and Other Explorations & Exca-
7 J.P. Joshi Entire Haryana 1993
vations 1975-81 in Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab
8 Manmohan Kumar Entire Haryana Prehistoric Remains in Haryana 1995
9 Manmohan Kumar Entire Haryana Harappan Settlement Pattern in Ghaggar-Yamuna Divide 2009
10 R.C. Thakran Sonipat Dynamics of Settlement Archaeology (Haryana). 2000

11 Vivek Dangi Meham (Rohtak) Archaeology of Ghaggar Basin: Settlement Archaeology of Meham 2009a
Block, District Rohtak, Haryana
12 Vivek Dangi Jind Recent Explorations in the Chautang Basin (Jind District, Haryana) 2009b

13 Vivek Dangi and Bhiwani Archaeological Explorations in Charkhi Dadri-2 Block, District Bhi-
Parveen Kumar wani, Haryana 2013

14 Parveen Kumar, Raj Bhiwani Further Explorations in Southern Fringe of the Ghaggar Plains, Dis- 2014
Pal, and Vivek Dangi trict Bhiwani, Haryana
Changing Patterns of Settlements in the Rise and Fall of Harappan
15 R.N. Singh et al. Hisar and Jind Urbanism and Beyond: a Preliminary Report on the Rakhigarhi Hin- 2009
terland Survey 2009
D.K Chakarbarti and The Problem of the Sarasvati River and the Archaeological Geography
16 Sukhdev Saini Entire Haryana of Haryana and Indian Punjab 2009

Explorations along with River Ghaggar and Sirhind Nala (Haryana


17 Vivek Dangi Fatehabad and Punjab) 2011

In Tables 1 - 4, the major archaeological explorations have been discussed. Apart from these explorations, some scholars of the Ar-
chaeological survey of India, the Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra and Department
of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana conducted some surreys. The details of them are available in various volumes of Indian Ar-
chaeology: A Review and other research journals.

ical Survey of India and Department of Archaeology site whose detailed reports have been published are
and Museums, Government of Haryana also did a few the projects at Mitathal, Madina, Farmana, Girawad
random surveys and their brief reports can be found and Bhagwanpur. This situation of limited publica-
in various volumes of Indian Archaeology - A Review. tions leaves much to be desired when attempting to
These explorations resulted in documentation of hun- understand the protohistoric inhabitants of the In-
dreds of sites in the region. do-Gangetic divide.
In addition to these explorations, 23 sites of var- The explorations and excavations have yielded
ious phases of the Harappan Civilization have been enormous amounts of archaeological data that lends
excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), itself to the reconstruction of patterns of ancient
the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Gov- habitations. At the moment, there are approximately
ernment of Haryana and various universities (Table 4). 52 sites that have been identified as belonging to the
Despite all of these excavations, quite a limited num- Pre-Harappan Ghaggar-Hakra culture. The rest are
ber of excavated sites have been fully published. The as follows: 350 Early Harappan sites, 325 Harappan

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Table 4 Excavated sites in Haryana

No. Site Year Instituion Cultural sequence References


1 Agroha 1978-79, 1979- Haryana State Archaeology PGW, H, M IAR 1978-79: 68-69, 1979-
80, 1980-81 80: 31, 1980-81: 15-16.
2 Autha 1964-65 ASI PGW, H IAR 1964-65: 33-34.
1978 to 1980,
3 Balu 1983 to 1987, Kurukshetra University EH, MH and LH Kesarwani 2002
1992 to 1995
4 Banawali 1983-84, 1986- Haryana State Archaeolog y EH, MH and LH Bisht 1982
88 and ASI
5 Bhagwanpura 1975-76 ASI PGW, LH Joshi 1993
1968-69, 1976- IAR 1968-69:8-9, 1976-77:
6 Daulatpur Kurukshetra University LH, PGW, H
77, 1977-78 19, 1977-78: 23.
7 Kasital 1975-76 ASI PGW, H Joshi 1993
8 Khokhrakot 1986-87 M.D. U, Roh-tak PGW, H, M IAR 1986-87: 34-36
1985-86, 1991-
9 Kunal 92, 1993-94, Haryana State Archaeology Hakra, EH, MH Khatri and Acharya 1995
1994-95
10 Mirzapur 1975-76 Kurukshetra University LH Singh 1977
IAR 1970-71:15-16, 1971-
11 Raja Karna ka Qila 1970 to 1976 Kurukshetra University PGW, H, M 72: 23-24, 1972-73: 12-13,
1974-75: 16, 1975-76:18.
1963-64, 1965- IAR 1963-64: 27-28, 1965-
12 Sugh 66 Punjab Univer-sity PGW, H 66: 35-36.
13 Thanesar 1987 to 1990 ASI PGW, H, M IAR 1987-88: 28-31, 1988-
89: 21-24, 1989-90: 27-32
Maharshi Dayanand Unibersity LH, PGW Manmohan Kumar et al.
14 Madina 2008 2009; Manmohan Kumar
and Deccan College et al. eds. 2016
Deccan College, Indus Project
15 Farmana 2007 to 2009 and Maharshi Dayanand Uni- MH Shinde et al. 2011a
versity
16 Girawad 2007 Deccan College, Indus Project Hakra, EH Shinde et al. 2011
and M.D. Uni-versity, Rohtak
17 Karsola 2011 ASI and Deccan College LH, PGW, H, M Shinde and Sengar 2011
Rao et al. 2004; Rao et al.
18 Bhirrana 2003 to 2007 ASI Hakra, EH, MH 2005; Rao et al. 2006
Banaras Hindu University and
19 Bhola 2012 University of Cambridge LH Not Published
Banaras Hindu University and
20 Masudpur 2009 University of Cambridge MH Petrie et al. 2009
Punjab University (1968),
Maharshi Dayanand Univer-si- Suraj Bhan 1975; Man-
21 Mitathal 1968, 2011, 2012 ty and Research Institute for MH, LH mohan Kumar et al. 2011,
Humanity and Nature (2011- 2012
2012)
Delhi University and Maharshi
22 Badali 2008 EH, MH Thakran et al. 2010
Dayanand University
Delhi University and Maharshi
23 Ganganagar 2009 LH, PGW Thakran et al. 2013
Dayanand University
Delhi University and Maharshi
24 Lohat 2011, 2012 MH Not Published
Dayanand University
Delhi University and Maharshi
25 Manheru 2010 Dayanand.D. University, Ro- EH, MH Thakran et al. 2010
htak
26 Siswal 1970 EH, MH Suraj Bhan 1972
27 Hatt 1980 M.D. Univer-sity, Rohtak PGW, Hist, M Not Published
28 Hansi 2005 ASI PGW, Hist, MEd Not Published
29 Jognakhera 2003 Haryana State Archaeology LH, PGW Malik et al. 2007
30 Burj 2010 Banaras Hindu University and EH, PGW, H Singh et al. 2010
University of Cambridge
31 Rakhigarhi 1998 to 2000 ASI EH, MH Nath 1998, 1999, 2001
33 Khatoli 1978 ASI LH Sharma 1982

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

sites, 1120 Late Harappan sites and 627 Painted Grey and-daub super-structures. Both the walls and floors
Ware Sites. These sites present a good basis to enhance of these pits were plastered.
our understanding of the developments of socio-cul- At Bhirrana, Kunal and Girawad, some associated
tural complexity in the Ghaggar plains. pits were found along with these dwelling pits, which
were probably used as the garbage pits. These pits
yielded ash, charred bones and potsherds. The dwell-
GHAGGAR-HAKRA CULTURE ing pits at Bhirrana and Girawad contained hearths,
charred bones and pottery, indicating their possible
The earliest farming community in this area to date use as a kitchen or cooking area.
has been identified as the Ghaggar-Hakra culture Closely examining the plans of dwelling pits in
(Dangi and Manmohan 2017). The evidences about Haryana, it is deemed difficult to make generalization
the settlement pattern came from three sites, viz. about the settlement arrangements of Ghaggar-Hakra
Kunal (Khatri and Acharya 1995: 84-86), Bhirrana culture. These pits were dug randomly close to each
(Rao et al. 2005: 60-68), Girawad (Shinde et al. 2008: other in the sites. For the ceramics of this period, mud
136-137) and Farmana (Shinde et al. 2008: 100-119). appliqué, red ware, incised ware, bichrome ware and
At Girawad and Kunal (Figure 1), the inhabitants dug black burnished or grey ware are common (Figure 2)
dwelling pits in artificially raised platforms, whereas
at Bhirrana and Farmana the dwelling pits were cut
into natural soil. The excavators of Kunal encountered EARLY HARAPPAN PERIOD
four dwelling pits during the excavations, each with
an average diameter of 2 m and an average depth of The cultural phase that follows the Ghaggar-Hakra
1.10 m (Khatri and Acharya 1995: 84). This average culture is the Early Harappan Culture. The deposits of
size differs from the dwelling pits at Bhirrana, where this phase usually underlie the remains of the Mature
the four dwelling pits found had an average diameter Harappan phase, sometime resulting in the limitation
of 2.35 metres and a depth of 34 to 58 cm (Rao et for understanding the settlement structure of this
al. 2005: 60-68). Farmana yielded only one dwelling period. The settlements of this phase in Haryana have
pit with a diameter of 3.20 m and a depth of 90 cm been found at Balu, Banawali, Bhirrana, Farmana,
(Shinde et al. 2008: 136). Excavators at Girawad en- Kunal, Mitathal and Rakhigarhi during the excava-
countered a total of 13 dwelling pits with an average tions. At Kunal, the Early Harappans constructed
diameter of 2 m (Shinde et al. 2008: 100-119). All of well-plastered dwelling pits that were lined with ir-
the above-mentioned dwelling pits feature postholes regular bricks or clay lumps of various sizes. The next
along their edges, indicating the existence of wattle- phase of development marks a departure from the

Table 5 Showing General Chronology of Harappan Civilization

No. Cultural Phase Cultural Phase


1 Pre-Harappan Period (Ghaggar-Hakra culture) 4000 - 3000 BCE
2 Early Harappan Period 3000 - 2500 BCE
3 Mature Harappan Period 2500 - 1900 BCE
4 Late Harappan Period 1900 - 1500 BCE
5 Ovelap phase between Late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware Cultures 1500 - 1300 BCE
6 Painted Grey Ware culture 1300 - 700 BCE

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Harappa
Jalilpur

Kunal
Bhirrana
Rahigarhi

Girawad

Figure 1 Distribution of sites of the Ghaggar-Hakra culture (red dots represent the excavated sites)

Figure 2 Dwelling Pits, Kunal


(Courtesy: Department of Archaeology and Mueseum Government of Haryana, Panchkula)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

1 0 10cm 3
0 10cm 2

0 10cm

5 6
0 10cm 0 10cm
4
0 10cm

8
7 0 10cm
0 10cm

9
0 10cm

10
0 10cm

11 12
0 10cm
0 10cm

14
0 10cm

ANUPGARH

13
vdc_201002_027 Lakhmirwala 15
0 10cm
0 10cm

17
16 0 0 10cm 20cm
0 10cm

Figure 3 Ghaggar-Hakra Pottery (after Dangi 2010)

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Harappa Rohira

Jalilpur

Dhalewan

Burj Balu
Banawali Kunal
Kalibangan
Bhirrana
Siswal
Sothi Rakhigarhi

Baror Nohar
Girawad

Manheru

Figure 4 Distribution of sites of the Early Harappan period (red dots represent the excavated sites)

previous dwelling patterns to a new pattern (Khatri the central Ghaggar basin, was also fortified during
and Acharya 1995: 85). the Early Harappan period. The discovery of the forti-
The next phase of the Early Harappan phase sees fication wall at this site led to a controversy regarding
the introduction of rectangular bricks made according the introduction of fortification during the Early
to the ratio 1:2:3 (7 × 14 × 21 cm or 10 × 20 × 30 Harappan period.
cm). The dimensions of the bricks are different at var- Not much evidence related to domestic structures,
ious sites, but the ratio 1:2:3 was meticulously stand- lanes and streets have been reported from any site of
ardized. At Banawali, bricks measuring 13 × 26 × 39 this period. Little information available for Banawali
cm and 12 × 24 × 36 cm were common during the indicates that houses were arranged in accordance
Early Harappan period along with bricks of aberrant with the cardinal directions (Bisht 1999: 15). The ori-
size 24 × 24 cm were also found used in the structures entation of the Early Harappan settlement at Bhirrana
of this period (Bisht 1982: 115). At Mitathal, the ex- deviates 24° from north. The orientation of the Early
cavators discovered bricks that measured 10 × 20 × 30 Harappan settlement at Bhirrana deviates 24° from
cm. Regarding Bhirrana and Balu, the excavators have the north, and the excavations unearthed a house
not provided the sizes of the bricks, but did report the complex consisting of six rooms and a central court-
size ratio of 1:2:3. yard (Rao et al. 2005: 63). Other excavated sites such
The Early Harappan settlement at Banawali was as Balu (Kesarwani and Arun 2002: 5-11), Dhalewan
entirely surrounded by a single defence wall (Bisht (Bala 2000: 207-209), Farmana (Shinde et al. 2008b),
1982: 114). Kalibangan, a Harappan site located in Kunal (Khatri and Achraya 1995: 85), Mitathal (Suraj

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 5 Early Harappan pottery (Sothi-Siswal) from Kunal


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

Figure 6 Bichrome pottery decorated with pipal leaf and peacock from Kunal
(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Figure 7 Bichrome pottery decorated with animal motif from Kunal


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

Figure 8 Copper arrow head from Kunal


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

10cm

Figure 9 Copper chisel from Kunal


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

Figure 10 Silver disc shaped beads from Kunal


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

10 cm

Figure 11 Silver crown from Kunal


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

Bhan 1975: 12) and Rakhigarhi (Nath 1999: 46-59) MATURE HARAPPAN PERIOD
have given a very limited information about the settle-
ment pattern of the Early Harappan period. Town planning
The Sothi-Siswal ceramic tradition is the regional This phase of the protohistoric period is marked by
variant of the Early Harappan culture in the region. the emergence of large, complex urban centers. The
Red ware with black bands on rim and neck, mud ap- striking feature of a typical Harappan town planning
pliqué for rustication below belly portion (Figure 3), is the presence of a citadel on a raised area of the city
grey ware and incised decorations represent the conti- and a lower town. All major Harappan urban centers
nuity of the Ghaggar-Hakra ceramic traditions. In the feature this division of the settlement, but there are re-
painted bichrome motifs, pipal leaf with black outline gional variations. Harappa and Kalibangan have a cit-
and filled with a white pigment, birds and animals are adel with a walled enclosure that is separate from the
common (Figures 4 and 5). rest of the settlement. Dholavira has three divisions;
Other materials, such as lithic tools, also indicate a citadel, middle and lower towns. Likewise, Mitathal
a regional variation. Rohri chert from the Rohri Hills also has a tripartite city layout, viz. citadel, lower town
in Sindh was used in the Ghaggar plain along with and industrial area. Not only to the fortification, the
local chert and agate/chalcedony for fabricating stone Harappans put an emphasis on the layouts of the
blades. Copper was used for making tools (Figures 6 streets and lanes. The main features of the Harappan
and 7) and ornaments. The excavations at Kunal yield- town planning are discussed below.
ed a jewelry hoard, which contains beads, crown and
amulets of gold and silver (Figures 8 and 9).

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Dher Majra
Rupar
Kotla Nihan Khan
Rohira Chandigarh
Harappa Raja Sirkap
Mahorana

Balu
Hulas
Banawali Kunal
Kalibangan
Bhirrana
Tarkhanewala Dera Rakhigarhi

Baror
Karanpura Farmana Alamgirpur
Khanak Mitathal
Manheru

Badli Lohat

Ganeshwar
Jodhpura

Figure 12 Distribution of sites of the Mature Harappan period (red dots represent the excavated sites)

Fortification the example from Bhirrana (Rao et al. 2005) is rec-


The Harappan town planning features a distinction tangular in shape. Balu is surrounded by a square wall
between the 'citadel' and the 'lower town.' Harappa, (Kesarwani 2002). Kalibangan situated in the Hanu-
Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan have a citadel and low- mangarh district of Rajasthan has a pentagonal citadel
er town that are located some distance away from each and a rectangular lower town.
other, with separate fortification walls. At Rakhigarhi, the acropolis (RGR2) was sur-
The Harappan towns in Haryana, however, often rounded by a mud-brick wall (Nath 1999, 2001). The
feature a citadel and lower town that are surrounded internal or core of the wall was filled with the mud
by a single defence wall and separated by an internal bricks, whereas the interior and exterior were found
fortification wall. At Banawali (Bisht 1982) and lined with burnt bricks. The northern and southern
Bhirrana (Rao et al. 2005), the entire settlement was arms of the defence wall were exposed up to 70 m. At
surrounded by a single defence wall and an internal Mitathal, MTL-1 was found fortified (Manmohan
parametric wall separated the citadel from the lower Kumar et al. 2012). The western arm of the fortifica-
town. Numerous Harappan urban centres including tion wall was traced up to 90 m.
Mitathal, Banawali, Balu, Rakhigarhi and Bhirrana The fortification wall at Banawali (Bisht 1982) was
have a citadel and a lower town. surrounded by a 'V'-shaped moat. This moat was dug
The fortification wall at Banawali (Bisht 1982) close to the defence wall and measured approximately
is trapezoidal in shape with two arms found either 5.70 to 6.50 m wide at the top and 3.60 m in depth.
parallel to each other or equal in length. In contrast, The excavator was able to locate the moat along the

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Pots

2C9

Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin Structure no.1

2D9

1A7 1A6 1A5 1A4 1A3 1A2 1A1 1A

1A9

3B

3A

1B7 1B6 1B5 1B4 1B3 1B2 1B1 1B


3C 3D 2C
3E

2A
3F
Antechamber
3H of 3G PL.2

3I 2B

1C7 1C6 1C5 1C4 1C3 1C2 1C1 1C

MA
3G

IN
PL.1
3L

ST
1D7 1D6 1D5 1D4 1D3 1D2 1D1 1D

RE
PL.3
3J 2D

ET
Central Courtyard

3K
3M
1E7 1E6 1E5 1E4 1E3 1E2 1E1 1E

3N
3P 2E
3R 3Q

3O
3T
2F
1F7 1F6 1F5 3S 1F4 1F3 1F2 1F1 1F
3U

1 4B
no. 4C
3V NE
LA 4A
1G7 1G6 1G5 1G4 1G3 1G2 1G1 1G

4D

4E 2
no. 4G
NE
LA
4F
4I 4H

1H7 1H6 1H5 1H4 1H3 1H2 1H1 1H

0 10m

Figure 13 Town planning of Farmana (after Shinde et al. eds. 2011a)

Figure 14 Covered drain, Banawali (Courtesy: R.S. Bisht)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

eastern and northern arms of the fortification wall. came from the interior of the town and two ran along
It is likely to have been filled with water. So far as its the outer fortification wall of the city.
function is concerned, it seems to have been a part of The excavations at Bhirrana (Rao et al. 2005) en-
a defence system. The space between the moat and rich our knowledge about the streets and lanes of the
the wall was enough for the movement of the security Harappan civilization. Here the major street running
guards and others. It also served as a platform against from north to south was 4.80 m wide, whereas the
the water of moat and as a intermediary space be- width of lanes varied from 1.60 m to 2.80 m.
tween the moat and the fortification wall.
Drainage system
Street and lanes Drainage system and refuse water management also
Streets and lanes played an important role in the played a vital role in the urban planning of the Hara-
urban planning of Harappan settlements. At most of ppans. The sites like Banawali, Rakhigarhi, Bhirrana
the excavated sites such as Mitathal (Manmohan Ku- and Farmana give us detailed information about the
mar et al. 2012), Bhirrana (Rao et al. 2005), Farmana Harappan drainage system.
(Shinde et al. 2011), Rakhigarhi (Nath 1999, 2001) At Banawali, some drains to let out rain water were
and Balu (Kesarwani 2002), streets and lanes intersect found piercing through the defence walls and under
with each other at a right angle. gateways (Figure 11). A similar evidence has also
At Farmana, the main street was about 4 m wide, been noticed at Bhirrana where a public drain made
but later encroachments reduced it to 3.6 m. This up of baked bricks was found, and water outlets from
space was enough for the movement of bullock carts, houses were also observed. At Farmana, a drain built
which was the only means of transportation during of wedge-shaped burnt bricks was recovered running
the third millennium BCE. Some ruts of cart wheels from east to west. The excavations at Mitathal yielded
were also noticed at the southern end of the main a drain made of terracotta pipes for the removal of
street. The average width of the lane is about 1.50 m, waste water.
and it intersects with the main street at right angle. The sanitary facility depended on the use of san-
After it runs for 19 m straight towards southwest, it itary jars, which served as wash-basins. Ceramic jars
turns at the right angle towards the south (Figure 10). were also used for soaking purposes. Bathing plat-
At Mitathal, one street measuring about 2 m and a forms made of burnt bricks were also found. Examples
lane were found. of Harappan sanitary practices can be observed at
At Banawali (Bisht 1982), the streets and lanes Banawali, Rakhigarhi, Farmana and Bhirrana.
were oriented to the cardinal directions while inter-
secting at right angles. Streets and lanes were managed
in such a way that houses were separated into sectors. LATE HARAPPAN CULTURE
No two houses had a common wall. This type of plan
was observed at the acropolis, whereas trapezoidal or The last phase of the Harappan culture in the Ghaggar
conventional parallelogram-shaped sectors of houses basin is represented by the decadent phase knows as
were found in the lower town. Here, a number of the Late Harappan culture. This culture is dated to the
streets met at a point in a radial pattern. One place first quarter of the second millennium BCE. The evi-
near the main entrance saw the convergence of five dence regarding the settlement pattern of this culture
streets at a single point. Out of these streets, three has come from a number of excavated sites, viz. Balu,

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Sarangpur
Chandigarh
Nagar
Rupar
Katpalon Bara
Sanghol
Harappa Dadheri
Rohira

Burj Bhagwanpura Bargaon


Jogna Khera
Mirzapur Daulatpur
Bohala
Banawali Hulas Ambkheri
Balu

Karsola
Sanauli
Hastinapura
Ganganagar Alamgirpur
Mitathal
Lohat
Badli Lal Qila

Jakhera
Atranjikhera

Noh

Figure 15 Distribution of sites of the Late Harappan period (red dots represent the excavated sites)

Banawali, Burj, Daulatpur, Jogana Khera, Mirzapur, tioned above indicates that the Late Harappan culture
and Mitathal. appears to be the outcome of the process of cultural
The evidence of the streets and lanes were only transformation and the internal interactions of the
found at Mitathal. They varied from 1.50 m to 3.10 society due to the decline of the economy.
m in width. At Mitathal (Suraj Bhan 1975: 13), Balu
(Kesarwani 2002: 47) and Mirzapur (IAR 1974-
75: 16), bricks were used in construction of houses, DISCUSSION
At Daulatpur (IAR 1978-79: 19), baked brickbats
were also used. At Banawali (Bisht 1982: 120) and The antiquity of human occupations in Haryana can
Bhagwanpura ( Joshi 1993: 39), bricks were not used be traced back to the prehistoric times, as is attested
for building houses during the Late Harappan period, by the discovery of stone tools of this period. Archae-
and structures were made of mud walls. ological exploration in the upper reaches of Ghaggar
The evidence of the drainage system has been re- and Markanda river have revealed that the earliest
covered from numerous sites. At Mitathal (Suraj Bhan inhabitants of this region belong to the Stone Age.
1975: 13), a large storage jar with a hole in the bottom Stone tools of the Lower Palaeolithic period are made
seems to have been used for the purpose of soakage. of quartzite, which include chopper/chopping tools,
A diagonally running drain (13 cm wide) was traced cores, flakes and unfinished tools. Such tools were
in trench KX3 at Balu (Kesarwani and Arun 2002: reported from Dera Kharauni and Mansa Devi in the
47). The picture emerging from the evidence men- Kalka Tehsil of the Panchkula district (Mohapatra

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Approximate height: 60 cm

Figure 16 ‘S’-shaped jar from Banawali


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

1966: 221-237). Following the initial discovery, more situ, in the fossil park of the same village (Manmohan
sites of the Stone Age were reported, viz. Suketri Kumar 1978: 241).
(Chandigarh) opposite the Sukhana Lake and inside Chronologically, the Palaeolithic tools of Punjab
the boundary of the Hindustan Machine Tools prem- and Haryana have affinity with the Soan Culture
ises in Pinjor. The tools collected from these places - Chopping complex belonging to the Middle Pleis-
include scrapers, cores and flakes. A typical pear- tocene, c. 500,000 B.P. (Sankalia 1974: 15). Early hu-
shaped Acheulian handaxe was found at the village mans of this period used to live on the river terraces,
Kotla (Manmohan Kumar 1978: 241). Apart from the as most of the tools were found on the terraces. The
Lower Palaeolothic tools, some tools of the Middle economy of this period was totally based upon hunt-
and Upper Palaeolithic were also found in the area ing. These stone tools were used for various purposes
under the present study (Manmohan Kumar 1995: 5). such as hunting, chopping meat and blocks of wood,
Suketi (district Sirmur of Himachal Pradesh) situated and dressing with the skin of hunted animals.
on the terrace of Markanda has yielded stone tools In the alluvial plains of the area under the present
and fossils. Some of the fossils are even preserved in study, we have not found any Neolithic site. The next

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

0
frn_2007_7863
20cm 2
1
frn_2007_7899
0 20cm

4
5
3 FRN_2008_066
FRN_2008_058 0 20cm
0 10cm

FRN_2008-09_8358
0 10cm

0 20cm

Figure 17 Painted Harappan pottery from Farmana (after Uesugi 2011a)


frn_2008-09_8358
0 10cm

phase of the history of region is represented by the agro-pastoral. Some 'V'-shaped copper arrowhead and
Pre-Harappan culture. The early farming community fish-hooks recovered from Kunal indicate that hunt-
(first phase of Harappan Culture) in this area has been ing and fishing also played a part in their economic
identified as the Ghaggar-Hakra culture or Pre-Hara- activities. No botanical remains so far have been re-
ppan culture (Dangi and Manmohan Kumar 2017). ported from any sites, but the future studies shall help
The Pre-Harappans of the Upper Ghaggar basin understand the position of subsistence economy of
lived in a simple life, as it is evident from the remains these people. Some trading activates were also a part
excavated at Kunal, Bhirrana and Girawad. The peo- of their economic life. Beads of carnelian, agate and
ple lived in pits which were covered by a roof of wattle lapis lazuli were found associated with the dwelling
and daub. The settlements of this period seems to be pits at Bhirrana (Rao et al. 2005: 63), which indicates

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

1 2 3 4

6
0 20cm

Figure 18 Painted Harappan pottery from Seman-7 (cemetery of Farmana) (after Uesugi 2011b; Dangi and Samunder ++++)

their long-distance trading contacts. (Lal 1998: 61) and a terracotta model of plough from
The cultural phase that succeeds the Pre-Harappan Banawali (Bisht 1982: 13) give an idea about the
culture in the region is represented by the Early Hara- farming technology during this period. The field of
14
ppan culture. Based on C dates from Kalibangan Kalibangan had two sets of furrows, one running from
and Bhirrana, we can assign this cultural phase to the north to south and the other from east to west. This
early half of third millennium BCE. The people of type of pattern of ploughing fields is still prevalent in
this culture introduced rectangular and square houses the region.
for the first time. The concept of fortification was a Terracotta cart-frames and bull figurines give an
part of their town planning. The people of this period idea about the type of transportation. The presence
made the technological developments which led to of copper, agate, gold and lapis lazuli objects in this
the urbanization in the next phase. area where the raw material source was not available,
The Sothi-Siswal ceramic tradition is the regional tells us about their trade links with far-flung areas.
variant of the Early Harappan culture in Haryana. The The seals found in the Early Harappan levels at Kunal
Early Harappan people lived in the square and rectan- (Khatri and Acharya 1995: 85) also give the evidence
gular houses made of mud bricks of various sizes. The of trade. Typical Kot Diji-type pottery found in a con-
economy of this period depended mainly on agricul- siderable quantity clearly indicates the interaction be-
ture; however, trade was also a part of their economy. tween Haryana and western Punjab during the Early
The discoveries of a tilled field from Kalibangan Harappan period. Graffiti marks found on potsherds

- 74 -
Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

20 cm

Figure 19 Black Slipped jar from Banawali


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

indicate the efforts of people to learn writing towards perforated jars, dish-on-stands with long stem, and
the later phase of this period. antiquities such as chert blades, chert cubical weights,
The excavations at Kunal (Khatri and Achraya beads of semi-precious stones, terracotta humped bull
1995: 85-86) and Bhirrana (Rao et al. 2006: 47-48) figurine, terracotta triangular cakes, etc.
have proved that there was a transitional phase from The urban Harappan people were versatile in town
the Early Harappan to Mature Harappan periods. In planning as discussed earlier, and the fortified town-
this phase, some classical Harappan shapes such as ships and sanitary arrangements indicate some kind of
perforated jars, goblets and painted motifs started social stratification. Probably a ruling class or adminis-
appearing in the pottery. trative class lived in the acropolis (the features of town
The next cultural phase in the region represents planning have been discussed above), whereas rich
the urban Harappan civilization. A total number of traders and farmers were living in big houses of the
325 sites related to this phase are found in the area lower town and the working class was staying outside
under the present study, which has yielded classical the fortification wall as indicated by the excavations at
Harappan pottery, such as 'S'-shaped jars, goblets, Bhirrana.

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

2cm

Figure 20 Carnelian beads from Banawali


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

2cm

Figure 21 Amazonite beads from Banawali


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Figure 22 Jewelry hoard from Pur, Bhiwani


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 23 Agate bull with gold horns from Pur, Bhiwani


(Photographed by the author with courtesy of Department of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana)

The excavations at Seman-7 (a cemetery site that are also present. The clay is well levitated. Both
is associated with the settlement site of Farmana) smoothening and scraping techniques using fast
enrich our knowledge about the social stratification rotation were used for surface finishing. Paintings in
of the Mature Harappans (Shinde et al. 2009; Shinde black pigment are invariably arranged in horizontal
et al. eds. 2011a). There is a variation in the quantity registers on a carefully-prepared red-slipped ground.
of grave goods in burials. The number of pots and Among the common shapes are dishes, jars, 'S'-shaped
ornaments indicates the social status of an individual jars, dish-on-stands, goblets, perforated jars and so on
buried. In Burial no. 20, a skeleton of a female was (Figures 12, 13 and 14). The excavations at Banawali
found wearing a spiral copper bangle in the wrist and yielded a typical black-slipped jar and such pottery is
upper right arm while in the left arm shell bangles are rare in this region (Figure 15), while it is widely found
worn at both the places (Shinde et al. 2009: 89, PI. in the Gujarat region.
51). Along with these ornaments, she was wearing The use of seals is an indication not only of the
copper earrings, steatite necklaces and anklets of stea- expert craftsmanship but also of trading activities.
tite beads; it indicates that she belonged to an affluent The cubical gamesman-type weight made of stone
class. The excavators have concluded that the burial of and ivory shows a high degree of precision and stand-
affluent class had more pots as graves goods, sometime ardization. Their skill in metallurgy is evident from a
even up to 35; whereas the ordinary people had only a number of tools found in the excavations and explora-
few pots. tions.
The Harappan pottery generally has a red surface Beads of semi-precious stones, such as carnelian,
and is wheel-turned, although handmade specimens agate, faience, jasper, amazonite and lapis lazuli were

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Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Figure 24 Late Harappan pottery from Bedwa-2 (after Dangi et al. 2015)

found at almost all the excavated and explored sites mouth, globular vases with flanged rim and flasks
(Figures 16 and 17). These beads are very beautiful treated with fine red slip (Figures 20 and 21).
and attractive in their shape and appearance. The wide To date, 1200 Late Harappan sites have been
presence of these stone beads indicates the long-dis- reported in Haryana, which are almost four times as
tance trade of the Harappans, as the sources of those numerous as Mature Harappan sites and most of the
materiels are not located in this region. sites are established on the fresh ground.
The most noteworthy find in the region is a jew- The economy of this period was based on the
ellery hoard of the Harappan period from Pur, a site agriculture with a limitedscale of long-distance trade.
located in the Bhiwani district in Haryana. This hoard The excavations at Daulatpur (IAR 1976-77: 19) and
contains a large number of beads of carnelian, agate, Mitathal (Suraj Bhan 1975) provided the evidence of
faience, jasper, amazonite along with rings of gold and charred grains, semi-precious stone beads and copper
silver (Figure 18). Most striking artefact of this hoard objects, giving an idea about the economic life of the
is a bull carved out of banded agate with horns made Late Harappan period. The presence of stone beads
of gold (Figure 19). ate these sites indicates that some tranding activities
The fourth phase of the Harappan culture of the existed even in this period, although the scale of the
region is distinguished by the Late Harappan culture trades were distinctly smaller than the preceding ur-
or the degeneration of the Harappan civilization. ban phase. New types of copper tools appeared in this
During this phase, classical Harappan shapes trans- period usually called Copper Hoard tools (Figure 22).
formed into a new ceramic style with continuation of In Haryana, a number of sites yielded Copper Hoard
its basic elements. The Late Harappan pottery types tools, and they were correlated with OCP which is
are comprised of dish-on-stands with ribbed junction, contemporary to the Late Harappans. The social con-
dish-on-stands with broad and short stand, vases with dition and organization of the Late Harappan period
projecting undercut rims, jars with wide and narrow are still unclear, although it is generally described as

- 79 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

0 20cm

2 3 4 5

6 7 8
0 20cm

Figure 25 Late Harappan pottery from Bedwa-2 (after Dangi et al. 2015)

- 80 -
Vivek Dangi Indus (Harappan) Civilization in the Ghaggar Basin

Figure 26 Copper hoard tools from Narnaund (Courtesy: Gurkul Museum, Jhajjar)

- 81 -
Current Research on Indus Archaeology

the degenerated phase of the Harappan Civilization. I owe sincere thanks to Arvin Raj Mathur for helping
Further studies on this period are expected to reveal me in writing this article. I am also grateful to De-
how the urban society was transformed into the Late partment of Archaeology and Museum, Haryana for
Harappan society and what features made up of the according me permission to study material recovered
society. from Kunal and Jogna Khera. Last but not least, I am
The excavations at the site of Bhagwanpura threw thankful to Prof. Fumitaka Yoneda and Kansai Uni-
a new light on the relationship between the Late versity, Osaka, Japan for inviting me to the University.
Harappan and PGW using people. Sub-period IA at
Bhagwanpura is represented by the Late Harappan
culture, while the sub-period IB is marked by the con- References
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Block (Dist. Rohtak). M.Phil. dissertation. The Maharshi Krishana 2008. Archaeology and History of Ratia block,
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Lal, B.B. 1954. Excavations at Hastinapura and other Explo- chaeological Research Institute, Kansai University, Osaka,
rations in Uppar Ganga and Sutluj Basins. Ancient India Japan
10-11: 5-151. Mohapatra, G.C. 1966. Preliminary Report of the Excava-
Lal, B.B. 1998. India 1947-1997: New Light on the Indus Civi- tions and Excavations of the Stone Age Sites in Eastern
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Ambala). M.A. dissertation. Punjab University, Chandi- Nath, Amarendra 1998. Rakhigarhi: A Harappan Metropolis
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Malik, D.S., M. Acharya and R.S. Dahiya 2007. "A Brief Note Nath, Amarendra 1999. Further Excavations at Rakhigarhi.
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Shukla, R.S. Bisht, M.P. Joshi and Prashant Srivastava eds. Nath, Amarendra 2001. Rakhigarhi : 1999-2000. Purātattva
History and Heritage (In Honour of Prof. Kiran Kumar 31: 43-46.
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Manmohan Kumar 1978 Archaeology of Ambala and Kuruk- sertation, Punjab University, Chandigarh.
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ra University, Kurukshetra. Adampur Blocks (Dist. Hisar). M.Phil dissertation. The
Manmohan Kumar 1995. "Prehistoric Remains from Hary- Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.
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C.S. Gupta eds. Visvambhara: Probing in Orientology. ing settlement Dynamics in the Plains: The 2009 Survey
Harman Publishing House, New Delhi. pp.1-10. and excavations at Masudpur (Hisar District, Haryana).
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Manmohan Kumar, Akinori Uesugi, Vasant Shinde, Vivek Rahar, Jagdish 2001. Archaeological Settlement Pattern of
Dangi, Vijay Kumar, Rajeev Maan and Arun Singh 2011. Mahendergarh and Rewari Districts (Haryana). Ph.D. dis-
Excavations at Mitathal, District Bhiwani (Haryana) sertation. The Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.
2010-11: A Preliminary Report. Purātattva 41: 168-178. Rahar, Jagdish Singh 1993. Archaeology and History of Jhajjar
Manmohan Kumar, Akinori Uesugi, Vivek Dangi, Vijay Ku- Block (Dist. Rohtak). M.Phil dissertation. The Maharshi
mar and Takekazu Nagae 2012. Excavations at Mitathal Dayanand University, Rohtak.
2011-12. Purātattva 42: 168-178. Rajesh Kumar 2008. History and Archaeology of Hisar Block
Manmohan Kumar, V. Shinde, A Uesugi, Vivek Dangi, Sajjan I & II. M.Phil dissertation. The Maharshi Dayanand Uni-
Kumar and Vijay Kumar 2009. "Excavations at Madi- versity, Rohtak.
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Settlement at Bhirrana. Purātattva 35: 60-68. excavations at Mirzapur and Daulatpur, District Kuruk-
Rao, L.S., N.B. Sahu, Prabash Sahu, U.A. Shastry and Samir shetra (Haryana)", in B.B. Lal and S.C. Malik eds. Indus
Diwan 2004. Unearthing Harappan Settlement at Bhir- Civilization: Problems and Issues. Indian Institute of Ad-
rana. Purātattva 34: 20-24. vanced Study, Shimla. pp. 1-7.
Sandeep 2006. Archaeology of Hansi Block-II. M.Phil. Disser- Sneh Lata 1990. Archaeology and History of Sampla Block
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Satdev 1980 Archaeology of Jind Tehsil. M.Phil. Dissertation. Dayanand University, Rohtak.
Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana. Suraj Bhan 1972a. Prehistoric Archaeology of the Saraswati
Sharma, R.P. 1982. Khatoli: A Protohistoric site in Haryana. and Drishadvati Valley (Haryana). Ph.D. dissertation. The
Purātattva 11: 178-180. Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara.
Shinde, V., T. Osada and Manmohan Kumar 2011a. Excava- Suraj Bhan 1972b. Siswal - A Pre-Harappan site in Dris-
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2008. Indus Project, Kyoto. Suraj Bhan 1975. Excavation at Mitathal (1968) and other
Shinde, V.S, T. Osada and Manmohan Kumar 2011b. Exca- Exploration in Sutlej-Yamuna Divide. Kurukshetra Uni-
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Takao Uno, Hideaki Maemoku, Prabodh Shirvalkar, Surender Kumar 1999 Archaeology and History of Bhiwani
Shweta Sinha Deshpande, Amol Kulkarni, Amrita Sarkar, Block, District Bhiwani. M.Phil dissertation. The Maharshi
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Silak Ram 1972. Archaeology of Rohtak and Hisar Districts (Haryana). Gyan Prakashan, New Delhi.
(Haryana). Ph.D. dissertation. Kurukshetra University, Thakran, R.C., Amar Singh, Narender and Vikas 2010. Ex-
Kurukshetra. cavations on Manheru 2009 and Explorations in its Envi-
Singh, R.N., Petrie, C.A, C.A.I. French, S. Neogi, A.K. Pand- rons, District Bhiwani, Haryana. Aitihya 1:128-159.
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Purātattva 40: 94-101 tions at Farmana, Rohtak District, Haryana, India 2006-
Singh, R.N., C.A. Petrie, V. Pawar, A.K. Pandey, S. Neogi, 2008. Indus Project, Research Institute for Humanity and
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Yashvir Singh 1992. Archaeology and History of Charkhi
Dadri Block No. 1 (Dist. Bhiwani). M.Phil dissertation.
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Kurukshetra.

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Indus Archaeology in Gujarat:


An expedition through space, time, materials and methods

Rajesh S.V.
(Department of Archaeology, University of Kerala)

INTRODUCTION number of scholars attempted to define the term


region in which geographical and archaeological di-
Chalcolithic researches of eighty-eight years in Gu- visions sometimes does not fit properly. The greater
jarat, Western India proved to be highly productive Indus region extends from Shortugai in Afghanistan
of unexpected insights, new ideas, and lasting results in the north to Daimabad on the bank of Pravara in
regarding the cultures/traditions of various phases of the south. Its western boundary is marked by Shahr-i
the Harappan culture. The aspects discussed in this Sokhta on the west whereas Manpur marks its eastern
paper include different explorations and excavations border (Figure 1). The overall area is approximately 1
conducted in Gujarat between 1930 and 2018. This million square kilometers (Possehl 1999). Joshi (1984:
paper also deals with various dating methods em- 51-54) divided the greater Indus region into six geo-
ployed in the Chalcolithic Archaeology of Gujarat graphical regions/sectors namely northern (Punjab,
and its merits and demerits. The main aim of this pa- type site: Harappa), eastern (Rajasthan and Haryana
per is to bring out the origin, existence, characteristic ,type site: Kalibangan), central (Bahawalpur type
features, extent and dispersal of the Harappan and site: Ganveriwala), Southern (Sind, type site: Mohen-
regional Chalcolithic cultures/traditions in Gujarat jo-Daro), south-western (Baluchistan type site: Kulli
in a summarized way. It further deals with identifying Harappan) and south-eastern (Gujarat, type site: Lo-
the similarities and differences between the Regional thal).
Chalcolithic cultures/traditions and the Sindhi/ Possehl (1992: 237-244) divided the Harappan
Sorath Harappans in Gujarat to understand the role cultural mosaic into six regions based on ceramics
played by these communities from the Pre-Urban and subsistence patterns, namely the Sindhi Harap-
Harappan Phase to the Post-Urban Harappan Phase pan (lower Indus Valley and Kachchh extending up
through the Urban Harappan Phase. to Lothal), the Kulli Harappan (in the mountains
of Southern Baluchistan and Gedrosia), the Sorath
Harappan (Saurashtra), The Bahawalpur Harappan
GUJARAT: THE STUDY AREA (midst of the Cholistan desert), the East Punjab
Harappan (Banawali II in Haryana) and the Late Kot
In the Harappan/Chalcolithic studies, only a limited Dijian (Northwest Frontier of Pakistan). However,

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 1 Distribution of major sites in the Greater Indus Region (Adapted: Belcher 1998)

later Possehl (1999: 269) identified seven regions of the area of attraction, the areas of relative isolation
Indus Age, namely the Central Region, the Gedrosia and the area of isolation and placed Gujarat under
Region, the Southern Region, the Northwestern Re- the category of the area of relative isolation. Based on
gion, the Northern Region, the Eastern Region and geographical criteria and ethnic composition, Possehl
the Hakra Region. The southern region of Indus Age (1999: 328) divided Gujarat into four sub-regions:
is coincident with the boundaries of the modern state the North Gujarat plain, South Gujarat, Kachchh
of Gujarat (Possehl 1999: 327). and Saurashtra. In earlier period, these regions were
Subbarao (1958) identified the differential growth known in names Anarta, Lata, Kaccha and Surastra
of regions in India that was marked by conflict respectively (Sankalia 1941: 4-6; Subbarao 1958: 128;
between centrifugal and centripetal forces across a Majumdar 1960: xvii-xviii).
geographically and physiographically differentiated Archaeological researches in Gujarat during the
landscape. Accordingly, he (1958: 12) divided the last eighty-eight years showed that the Harappan and
country into three basic divisions under the titles of other regional Chalcolithic communities distributed

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

over various physiographic regions, ranging from arid understanding, Vallabhipur was the first noticed
to humid conditions. Though main concentrations of Chalcolithic (Protohistoric) site in Gujarat in 1930
different cultures/traditions were in certain regions, (Heras 1938). The Chalcolithic site at Rangpur came
they also spread to other physiographic realms. This to the notice in 1934 while digging the mound for
shows the skill and adaptability of Chalcolithic com- the construction of a road and M.S. Vats excavated
munities in adjusting themselves within different envi- the site in 1935 (Rao 1963). In 1938, Father H. Heras
ronmental conditions. The selection of different plac- reported the presence of the ancient mound at Som-
es for settlement might be based on the availability of nath. Langhnaj, a Mesolithic site having Chalcolithic
food, potable water and accessibility to raw materials affinity was reported in 1941-42 by H.D. Sankalia of
and finished products. However, archaeological data Deccan College, Pune during the First Gujarat Prehis-
show that many of the regions preferred by the Chal- toric Expedition (Sankalia 1946, 1965).
colithic folk are not presently suitable for habitation.
Decade of Nationalism and Beginning of
Village to Village and River Valley Surveys
EXPLORATIONS After the partition of India in 1947, due to the loss of
the well-known remains of its rich cultural heritage to
The history of eighty-eight years of explorations to Pakistan and prompted by the feelings of nationalism,
identify and understand the nature of Harappan and Indian archaeologists conducted vigorous explora-
Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat can be divided into eight tions in various parts of India including Gujarat. Soon
stages and in each advancing period, research became after the partition, explorations in Gujarat were car-
more and more scientific and problem-oriented. The ried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI);
various stages of explorations are Period of Chance Department of Archaeology, Saurashtra; Department
Findings; Decade of Nationalism and Beginning of of Archaeology Government of Gujarat; The Mahara-
Village to Village and River Valley Surveys; Decade ja Sayajirao University of Baroda and Deccan College,
of the Entry of Foreign Schools; Decade of the Begin- Pune. This period is noted for the beginning of the
ning of District Surveys; Decade of the Introduction systematic village to village surveys. The archaeologi-
of Grid Surveys; Decade of Surveys for Regional cal explorations in Gujarat during 1951-1960 by P.P.
Chalcolithic Sites and Introduction of GPS Surveys; Pandya (Bhadar Valley and various parts of Saurash-
Decade of the Beginning of Digital Documentation tra), S.R. Rao (Bhal Region, Kachchh, Saurashtra,
and Transect Survey of Sites; and Period of the Gu- Mahi and Tapi Valley) and K.V. Soundara Rajan
jarat Gazetteer Project and Landscape and Environ- (Narmada Valley) resulted in the discovery of around
mental Approaches. All these explorations brought 100 Chalcolithic sites in various regions except North
to light more than 800 sites (Figure 2) in different re- Gujarat (IAR 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1956-57,
gions of Gujarat. Hundreds of newly discovered sites 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60; Subbarao 1958).
await publication.
Decade of the Entry of Foreign Schools
Period of Chance Findings The period between 1961 and 1970 is remarkable for
Before 1950, the Chalcolithic archaeology of Gu- the introduction of foreign scholars into the Harap-
jarat was linked by stray finds and most of the sites pan studies of Gujarat. During this decade, Chalco-
were discovered accidently. According to the present lithic sites were also discovered by J.M. Nanavati of

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 2 All the reported Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat

Figure 3 All the excavated Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Department of Archaeology (Aji, Khelo, Kalubhar 56, 1976b: 51-54, 1979; Nanavati et al. 1971; Pandya
and Kshetrunji river valleys in Amreli, Bhavnagar, 1973; Parikh 1977; Possehl 1980; Rao 1979).
Jamnagar, Rajkot; Demi river valley Surendranagar;
Ahmedabad and Bannnaskantha), J.P. Joshi of the Decade of the Introduction of Grid Surveys
ASI (Surendranagar, Kachchh), K.V. Soundara Rajan In this period, different seasons of grid surveys were
of the ASI (Oldpad in Surat), R.N. Mehta of the conducted at sites like Dholavira prior to the excava-
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (Surat), F.R. tion. During 1981-1990, explorations for Chalcolithic
Allchin and B. Allchin of University of Cambridge sites were conducted by the Department of Archae-
and J.P. Joshi of the ASI (lower courses of Narmada ology, Government of Gujarat (Kachchh, Rajkot,
and Tapi and estuaries of Ambika, Auranga, Daman- Mehsana, Amreli and Bhavnagar), the Maharaja
ganga, Kim, Mindola, Par and Purna rivers in Baroda, Sayajirao University of Baroda (Bhavnagar, Jamnagar,
Bharuch and Surat), and Ananda Sastry and H. K. Mehsana, Surendranagar), Deccan College Pune
Chaturvedi of the ASI ( Jamnagar) (IAR 1960-61, (Rajkot) and the ASI (Kachchh, Surat) (IAR 1980-
1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1966- 81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86,
67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70; Rao 1963; Leshnik 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90; Bhan 1983;
1968a: 295-310). Bhan 1986: 1-21; Bhan and Kenoyer 1984a: 115-120;
Bhan and Kenoyer 1984b: 67-80; Hegde et al. 1990;
Decade of the Beginning of District Surveys Hegde and Sonawane 1986: 23-31; Jairath 1986; Joshi
This decade is notable for the introduction of district 1990; Mehta 1984: 227-230; Momin 1984: 231-234;
surveys to discover Harappan sites by the ASI and the Possehl and Raval 1989; Rissman 1985; Rissman and
research scholars from the Maharaja Sayajirao Uni- Chitalwala 1990; Sonawane and Mehta 1985: 38-44;
versity of Baroda. During 1971-80, the explorations Sonawane 1990a, 1990b).
of Department of Archaeology, Government of Gu-
jarat (Kachchh, Ahmadabad, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Decade of Surveys for Regional Chalcolith-
Rajkot and Amreli), G.L. Possehl and Department of ic Sites and Introduction of GPS Surveys
Archaeology, Government of Gujarat (Bhavnagar - During 1991-2000, most of the explorations were
Umrala and Gadhda taluka), Suman Pandya (Bhavna- conducted to identify regional Chalcolithic sites and
gar Taluka), the Maharaja Sayajirao University of was mainly carried out by the Maharaja Sayajirao
Baroda (Banaskantha, Kheda, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad University of Baroda. The explorations of the uni-
and Bhavnagar and Mehsana districts), , Chitalwa- versity were concentrated in Mehsana, Banaskantha,
la (Rajkot) and the ASI (Banaskantha, Mehsana, Surendranagar and Ahmedabad (Bhogavo, Bhadar
Bhavnagar, Surendranagar and Ahmedabad) resulted and Lilka river basins). The ASI explored parts of the
in the discovery of hundreds of sites in various parts Kachchh, Junagadh and Vadodara districts. The lower
of Gujarat. The second half of this decade is notable reaches of Shetrunji river in the Bhavnagar district
for the discovery of a considerable number of Chalco- were explored by Deccan College Pune (IAR 1990-
lithic sites in North Gujarat (IAR 1970-71, 1971-72, 91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96,
1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977- 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000; Ajithprasad
78, 1978-79, 1979-80; Chitalwala 1979: 113-121; and Sonawane 1993; Ajithprasad and Sonawane 1994
Mehta and Chaudhary 1971, 1975; Mehta et al. 1980; (in press); Allchin et al. 1995; Dimri 1999; Majumdar
Mirchandani 1980; Momin 1974: 57-63, 1976a: 54- 1999; Possehl 1994a: 193-204; Sonawane and Ajith-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

prasad 1994: 129-139). Period of the Gujarat Gazetteer Project and


Landscape and Environmental Approaches
Decade of the Beginning of Digital Docu- The period between 2011 and 2018 is mainly noted
mentation and Transect Survey of Sites for the landscape and environmental studies under
The period between 2001 and 2010 is noted for the North Gujarat Archaeological Project (NoGAP)
introduction of the use of electronic devices in the ex- (Madella et al. 2010). A joint team of the Maharaja
plorations. GPR surveys were carried out at sites like Sayajirao University of Baroda, CSIC, Spain and
Lothal (Bologna University and the ASI), Kanmer Seismological Research Institute, Gandhinagar con-
(Rajasthan Vidyapeeth Udaipur, State Archaeology ducted RTK Survey in North Gujarat to understand
Department Gujarat and Ressearch Institure for Hu- land form changes and historical land use dynamics
manity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto) and Shikarpur through the Corona Image study (Conesa et al. 2014:
(the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and 11420-11443; Conesa et al. 2015: 75-90). The Maha-
RIHN Kyoto). Total Station surveys and GIS data raja Sayajirao University of Baroda and CSIC, Spain
generation were carried out at sites like Lothal (Bo- conducted a modern plant sampling transect survey
logna University and the ASI), Kanmer (Rajasthan from Saurashtra to the Thar Desert. The sampling
Vidyapeeth Udaipur, State Archaeology Department covering the areas that characterize the semiarid ec-
Gujarat and RIHN, Kyoto), Songadh, Jaidak, Shi- otone was aimed at attesting the response of modern
karpur (the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda) vegetation to changes in water availability in this en-
and Loteshwar (the Maharaja Sayajirao University vironment. Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope anal-
of Baroda and CSIC, Spain). A small-scale transect ysis of modern plant specimens were conducted to
survey was carried out in Saurashtra by Mark Man- understand past monsoon changes and inferring what
ual of Durham University. Other explorations were the role of monsoon were on the socio-ecological
conducted by the Maharaja Sayajirao University of dynamics of North Gujarat (Madella et al. 2010; Ron-
Baroda (Rajkot - Maliya and Surendranagar- Halvad delli et al. 2014: 482-492). The Maharaja Sayajirao
and Drangadra, the coastal area of Surat and Bharuch, University of Baroda and CSIC, Spain also executed
Junagadh, Bhavnagar - Talaja, Ahmedabad - Dhand- geoarchaeological and remote sensing studies for the
huka and Dholka, Jamnagar - around Jaidak), the ASI reconstructions of human-environment interaction
( Junagadh and Banaskantha), Deccan College, Pune for the past socio-ecological systems in North Gujarat
(Bhavnagar and Amreli - Vallabhipur to Jafrabad (Balbo et al. 2013: 53-65; Conesa et al. 2017: 57-75).
creek), National Institute of Oceanography (in the A joint team of Albion College, USA and the Maha-
area around Mul Dwarka in Saurashtra) and Depart- raja Sayajirao University of Baroda used ethnography,
ment of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat (Vasal geoarchaeology and GIS potentials for the identifi-
River valley, Surendranagar) (IAR 2000-01, 2001-02, cation of past human domestic activity through the
2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007- collection of plant samples and animal excreta from
08, 2009-2010; Ajithprasad 2008b: 83-99; Bhagat selected areas in Saurashtra, Kachchh and North Gu-
2001; Bhan et al. 2004: 153-158; Gaur et al. 2005; jarat. The objective of this study was to understand the
Kharakwal et al. 2009: 147-164; Krishnan and Dimri pastoral land-use and social networking practices in
2005: 199-204; Shirvalkar 2008; Sen 2009; Sonawane the context of Harappan Gujarat through the analyses
et al. 2003: 21-50). of biogenic isotopes of strontium, carbon, and oxygen
(Chase et al. 2014: 1-15). Apart from this, archaeolog-

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

ical explorations for identifying new sites and for un- like Anarta, Padri, Pre-Prabhas, Sorath Harappan,
derstanding the characteristics of reported sites were Micaceous Red, Prabhas, Lustrous Red, Malwa Ware
done by the ASI in the Banaskantha district, Deccan and Jorwe Ware assignable to Pre-Urban Harappan,
College, Pune in and around the site of Kotada Bhadli Urban Harappan and Post-Urban Harappan preriods
in Kachchh, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Bar- respectively.
oda and CSIC, Spain in North Gujarat, the Maharaja
Sayajirao University of Baroda in the Lilka River basin Vallabhipur
and University of Kerala, Kachchh University and The first excavated Chalcolithic site in Gujarat was
Albion College in the Kachchh District and various Vallabhipur (Vala) (22° 41' 15" N, 71° 38' 31" E) locat-
parts of Gujarat (Rajesh et al. 2015: 30-31). Another ed in eastern Saurashtra. The excavation was conduct-
noteworthy exploration was conducted by the Maha- ed in 1930 by Father Henry Heras of Bombay Univer-
raja Sayajirao University of Baroda and RIHN, Kyoto sity and a few objects of the Protohistoric period were
under the Gujarat Harappan Site Gazetteer Project. unearthed from the lower level of the foundation of a
Under this project all the reported Harappan sites later Buddhist monastery. Other details regarding the
were revisited and recorded with the help of GPS and site are unknown except the mention of an excavated
Digital Camera (Ajithprasad, pers. comm.; IAR 2010- Indus graffiti bearing potsherd (Heras 1938: 141-143;
11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14). Possehl 2007: 302).

Bet Dwarka
EXCAVATIONS Hiranand Shastri excavated Bet Dwarka Island (22°
20' 00" N, 69° 05' 00" E) in the Okhamandal taluka
Various organizations like the ASI, State Archaeology of the Jamnagar District also in 1930 and dated the
Department - Gujarat, Department of Archaeology earliest occupation of the site to third century BC
- Saurashtra, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of (Rao 1987). However, further explorations (IAR
Baroda - Vadodara, Deccan College Post Graduate 1969-70: 59) and excavations (Rao 1990: 59-98; Rao
and Research Institute - Pune, Bombay University, and Gaur 1992: 42-47; Gaur and Sundaresh 2003:
Rajasthan Vidyapeeth - Udaipur, National Institute of 57-66) proved the existence of human habitation in
Oceanography - Goa, Cambridge University - Cam- the island from Chalcolithic/Post-Urban Harappan
bridge, University of Pennsylvania - USA, University times. The excavator's interpretation to the reason
of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, Bradford University, which led to continuous habitation at the site was the
UK, University of Bologna - Italy, Research Institute availability of marine shells, and, based on its location,
for Humanity and Nature - Kyoto, University of Wis- considered it as a safe harbor in the ancient past (Gaur
consin, Madison and Spanish Council for Scientific et al. 2005).
Research - Barcelona, IIT Gandhinagar - Gujarat and
University of Kerala -Thiruvananthapuram conducted Rangpur
excavations in Gujarat. The excavations at 61 Chalco- Rangpur (22° 23' 56" N, 71° 55' 19" E), the archaeo-
lithic sites (Figure 3) in different regions of Gujarat logical mound measuring 1100 m from north to south
provided the evidence for the existence of Classical by 850 m from east to west in the Surendranagar
Harappan, Pre-Urban Harappan Burial Pottery tra- district was first excavated by M.S. Vats of the ASI in
dition and Regional Chalcolithic cultures/traditions 1934-35 (Dikshit 1950: 3-55) and, based on the arte-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

facts, the excavator suggested that the part of Rangpur skeletons from Langhnaj and Lothal (Harappan site)
where he excavated might correspond to the late peri- indicated close similarities between the Harappans of
od of the Indus Civilization or probably fall between Lothal and hunter-gatherers of Langhnaj. It was fur-
that time and the period of Cemetery H at Harappa ther attested by the recovery of a copper knife of 98%
(Vats 1937: 34-38). In 1936, excavations were con- purity from the middle phase of Langhnaj. Black-and-
ducted at the site by G.S. Ghurye of the University Red Ware pottery of the Urban Harappan period and
of Bombay and agreed with the evidence acquired by steatite disc beads were also unearthed from the site.
the former (Ghurye 1939: 3-12). In order to ascertain Radiocarbon date obtained from the mid phase of
the nature of the site, the Rangpur mound was again the site (2040 ± 110 BC) is also comparable with the
excavated under the guidance of H.D. Sankalia and age of Lothal and many other Harappan sites in Gu-
M.G. Dikshit in 1947 and, according to the excava- jarat (IAR 1953-54: 8, 1963-64: 12; Karve-Corvinus
tors, the ceramics of the Rangpur culture are basically and Kennedy 1963-64: 44-57; Clutton-Brock 1965;
dissimilar from the Indus Valley pottery and that it Ehrhardt and Kennedy 1965; Sankalia 1965; Agrawal
perhaps represents a late phase of the post-Harappan and Kusumgar 1969: 191; Possehl and Kennedy 1979:
period (Dikshit 1950: 14-16). Therefore, in 1953-54 592-593; Possehl 2002: 62-76).
a thorough and systematic excavation was undertaken
by S.R. Rao of the ASI and established convincingly Machiala-Mota
that Rangpur had Harappan contacts. In spite of se- In 1953, S.R. Rao of the ASI excavated Machiala-Mo-
vere criticisms, Rao's ceramic sequencing at Rangpur ta (Mota-Machiala) (21° 41' 00" N, 71° 14' 00" E)
still stand as the base of relative dating of most Chal- in the Amreli taluka of the Amreli district. The site
colithic sites discovered in Gujarat (Rao 1963: 1-207; revealed the evidence for Lustrous Red Ware, which
Misra 1965: 44-52; Sankalia 1974; Possehl 1980; is similar to the pottery of the late levels of Rangpur
Bhattacharya 1991: 53-57; Herman 1995: 187-198; (RGP-III). Blades with short parallel sides of chal-
Herman 1997: 77-112). cedony were also recovered from the site (Rao 1963:
177).
Langhnaj
In 1942 and in the following years, H.D. Sankalia of Kanasutaria
Deccan College Post-graduate and Research Institute, S.R . Rao of the ASI excavated the Chalcolithic
Poona, conducted a series of excavations at Langhnaj mound at Kanasutaria (22° 47' 00" N, 72° 16' 00" E) in
(23° 27' 00" N, 72° 32' 00" E) in the Mehsana dis- the Dholka taluka of the Ahmedabad district in 1954-
trict, a Mesolithic site having a Chalcolithic affinity, 55. Two cultural periods were noticed at the site. Pe-
and unearthed artefacts and burials. In 1953-54, the riod I was the habitation deposit of Microliths-using
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda also un- communities, and it was followed by a stratigraphical
earthed microliths and human burials from the site. break. Period II was the Chalcolithic cultural deposit
With a view to restudying its archaeological content, of about 1.8 m to 2.4 m and the ceramics unearthed
Langhnaj was excavated in 1963-64 by a joint team from this deposit include Lustrous Red Ware, Coarse
from the University of Poona, the Maharaja Sayajirao Red Ware, Coarse Buff Ware and Black-and-Red
University of Baroda and the Government of Gujarat. Ware. The ceramics from the site showed an affinity to
Some 21 burials were unearthed from the site through Rangpur IIC and III ceramics (Rao 1963: 188-189).
different excavations and the comparative study of

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 4 General view of Lothal (Courtesy: Google Earth)

Lothal tefacts of Lothal, it becomes clear that the settlement


In 1955 - 1962, S.R. Rao of the ASI excavated the for- was a commercial and manufacturing centre, the pro-
tified and stratified site of 7.5 hectares at Lothal (22° ductive capacity of the settlement was far greater than
31' 25" N, 72° 14' 59" E) in the Ahmedabad district the needs of the small number of inhabitants of the
and clearly established that the Harappan culture did site, or it had an exchange relationship with a group of
not confine itself to north-west India (Rao 1956: 82- people who procured raw materials and traded them
89, 1962: 14-30, 1965: 30-37). The site was a carefully for the surplus finished products from the settlement
planned one with a citadel comprising two public (Possehl and Kennedy 1979: 592-593). According to
buildings and a lower town consisting of a domestic Rao (1979), the site was destroyed five times by floods
quarter, workshops and market place. On the eastern and Pandya (1987: 177-186) divided them into usu-
side of the habitation area is a large brick-lined rectan- al-type floods and devastating-type floods. In order
gular enclosure and Rao termed it as a dockyard (Fig- to understand the significance of Lothal as a major
ure 4) intended to harbour ships (Rao 1979; Bindra centre of local and long distance trades, the 'Lothal
2003). Leshnik (1968a: 911-922) argued that it was Revisitation Project' was initiated jointly by the ASI
a tank meant to impound water for irrigation and and University of Bologna, Italy and a preliminary
domestic use. To the west of the citadel, between the magnetic survey (2008) and excavations (2009) were
peripheral wall and river, lies the cemetery (Rao 1973, conducted at the site (Frenez and Tosi 2010).
1979, 1985). Regional Chalcolithic ceramics were the
dominant artefacts of the early stage of the site. In the Lakhabaval
last stage, there was decline in all aspects of town plan- In 1955-56, an excavation was carried out at Lakhaba-
ning and artefacts underwent changes. From the ar- val (22° 24' 00" N, 70° 00' 00" E) in the Jamnagar

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

district jointly by the Department of Archaeology Medieval. To understand the cultural aspects of the
Saurashtra and the Maharaja Sayajirao University site, excavations were conducted in 1971-72, 1975-76
of Baroda, under P.P. Pandya and B. Subbarao re- and 1976-77 at the site by the Department of Archae-
spectively to find out the cultural sequence and the ology, Saurashtra and Deccan College Post Graduate
characteristics of the Harappan culture in Saurashtra. and Research Institute, Pune under J.M. Nanavati and
The archaeological mound located about 100 meters H.D. Sankalia. The site revealed a sequence of five
to the north of the Lakhabawal village on the western cultural periods datable from 3000 BC - 600 AD. The
bank of the rivulet called Nagamati, measured ap- importance of the site lays in the fact that for the first
proximately 150 m × 100 m. The excavation revealed time it unveiled the existence of two regional Chal-
a habitation deposit of three distinct cultural periods colithic traditions in Gujarat namely Pre-Prabhas As-
of which Period I represented Harappan/Chalcolithic semblage (3000 - 2500 BC) and Prabhas Ware (2300
phase associated with Rangpur IIB termed as the - 1750 BC) (IAR 1955-56, 1956-57; Nanavati et al.
Late Kathiawad Harappan (Subbarao 1958), Period 1971; Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992).
II belongs to the Kshatrapa period while Period III is
characterized by the material and structural remains Bhagatrav
of Medieval period (IAR 1955-56; Rao 1963). Bhagatrav (21° 29' 00" N, 72° 42' 00" E) located in
the Bharuch district was excavated by S.R. Rao of the
Amra ASI in 1957-58. Excavations at the mound of 2.25 m
The excavation at Amra (22° 16' 00" N, 69° 56' 00" high revealed two cultural periods namely Periods I
E) in the Jamnagar district in 1955-56, jointly by and II. Period I is divided into two sub-periods, IA
the Department of Archaeology, Saurashtra and the and IB representing respectively the Urban Harappan
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, under P.P. and Post-Urban Harappan phases of the Harappan
Pandya and B. Subbarao respectively revealed three culture. Period IB revealed Post-Urban Harappan
fold cultural sequences namely, Periods I, II and III. pottery forms like dish with a short projected rim
Period I is the Post-Urban Harappan phase associated and small jar with slightly elongated neck and Period
with Rangpur IIC and III termed as Post-Kathiawad II is Medieval (IAR 1957-58; Rao 1963). The site
Harappan (Subbarao 1958). Period II yielded Early was re-excavated in 2015 by the IIT Gandhinagar
Historic cultural materials and Period III is later in (Kanungo, pers. comm.).
date (IAR 1955-56).
Mehgam
Prabhas Patan/Somnath Mehgam (21° 42' 00" N, 72° 45' 00" E), near Bhar-
The archaeological mound at Prabhas Patan/Som- uch on the Narmada estuary, was subjected to a trial
nath (20° 53' 00" N, 70° 24' 00" E) locally known as excavation by S.R. Rao of the ASI in 1957-58. This
Naghera in the Gir Somnath district was first report- Chalcolithic site yielded Urban (Sorath) and Post-Ur-
ed in 1938 by Father Heras of Bombay University. ban Harappan (Late Sorath) ceramics and no struc-
The excavations at the site in 1955-56 and 1956-57, tures were reported. In 1959-60, from this site, K. V.
by the Department of Archaeology, Saurashtra and Soundara Rajan discovered microlithic tools typolog-
the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, under ically equitable with those found at the lowest levels at
P.P. Pandya and B. Subbarao respectively revealed Rangpur and stone points formed a major type in the
six periods beginning from Post-Urban Harappan to collection (IAR 1957-58, 1959-60; Rao 1963).

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Telod on the differences from the Classical Harappans in


Telod (21° 42' 00" N, 72° 46' 00" E) in the Bharuch movable and immovable antiquities, Possehl termed
district was excavated in 1957-58 by the ASI. The its material culture as the Sorath Harappan and based
low-lying mound situated on the south bank of the on 14C dates, he divided the occupational strata of
river Narmada yielded storage jars and bowls with the site into three periods, namely Rojdi A, Rojdi B
straight sides. The chief ceramic group from the site and Rojdi C corresponding to the Rangpur sequence.
was sturdy Red Ware painted in black. The excavator As a relative dating technique, the Rojdi sequence is
relatively dated the site to the late phase of Rangpur gaining popularity (Possehl et al. 1984; Possehl and
IIB (IAR 1957-58; Rao 1963). Chitalwala 1985: 80-100; Possehl 1986: 467-468;
Possehl 2004: 80-88; Possehl and Rawal 1989; Weber
Rojdi 1989, 1990: 333-348, 1991, 1999: 813-26; Fairservis
The Chalcolithic mound at Rojdi (21° 51' 47" N, 70° 1991: 108-113; Bedigian 2004: 329-353; IAR 1957-
55' 08" E) situated on the bank of the river Bhadar 58, 1985-86, 1992-93, 1993-94).
in the Rajkot district was excavated in 1957-58 and
1958-59 by P.P. Pandya of Department of Archaeol- Adkot
ogy, Saurashtra. In the excavations, pottery similar to The trial excavation at Adkot (22° 00' 00" N, 71° 05'
Pre-Prabhas Ware and Prabhas Ware were stratigraph- 00" E) in the Rajkot district by P.P. Pandya of Depart-
ically reported along with the Harappan ceramics. ment of Archaeology Saurashtra in 1957-58 revealed
Early Historic artefacts were also reported from the 5ft occupational deposits representing the Harappan
site. In 1962-63, the site was again excavated by J.M. culture. Among the Classical Harappan and Sorath
Nanavati of Department of Archaeology, Government Harappan artefacts unearthed from the site, black
of Gujarat, and he noticed the Harappan and Mica- painted designs of a human figure feeding a pet on a
ceous Red Ware, Prabhas ware, Early Historic and potsherd is noteworthy (IAR 1957-58).
Medieval levels in the site. In 1964-65, the Depart-
ment of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat, during Pithadia/Pitharia
an exploration, recovered five hundred and twenty The trial digging at Pithadia (Pitharia) (21° 46' 00" N,
microbeads of steatite and eight bicone barrel beads 70° 40' 00" E) in the Rajkot/Jamnagar district by P.P.
of gold, belonging to a necklace below a structure of Pandya of Department of Archaeology, Saurashtra
Prabhas level. In 1982-83, the Department of Archae- in 1957-58 revealed two periods of occupation, viz.
ology, Government of Gujarat carried out excavations the Urban Harappan (Bowls of Rangpur IIB) and
at Rojdi and recovered Harappan and non-Harappan Post Urban Harappan elements (lamps, flat dish of
artefacts. The excavations from 1983 to 1986 and Rangpur IIC and Lustrous Red Ware) respectively
1992 to 1994 by a joint team of the Department of representing the material inventory of both the peri-
Archaeology, Government of Gujarat and the Univer- ods (IAR 1957-58).
sity of Pennsylvania, USA, under Gregory L. Possehl,
threw much light on the site and its chronolog y. Motidharai
However, in the excavation report and articles he has The trial excavations at Motidharai (21° 58' 00" N, 71°
not mentioned Micaceous Red Ware in its name or 57' 00" E) in the Bhavnagar district by P.P. Pandya of
the pottery similar to the Pre-Prabhas type which Department of Archaeology, Saurashtra in 1957-58
was noticed at the site by the earlier excavator. Based revealed two periods of occupation, with a considera-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

ble gap in between. Period I was characterized by the that Nagal would bridge the gap between the late and
Harappan elements, while Period II was distinguished Post-Harappan Chalcolithic sites in South Gujarat
by Early Historic artefacts (IAR 1957-58). (IAR 1961-62).

Kanjetar Warthan
In 1958, S.R. Rao of the ASI excavated the Chalco- The trial excavation at Warthan (21° 22' 00" N, 72°
lithic site at Kanjetar (20° 45' 00" N, 70° 40' 00" E) in 51' 00" E) in 1961-62 by K.V. Soundara Rajan of
the Kodinar taluka, the Amreli district. The site meas- the ASI revealed two-fold cultural sequences. The
uring 150 m × 150 m revealed a habitation deposit of earliest of these was represented by the occurrence of
1.8 m. The site revealed almost all Harappan ceramic Black-Painted Red Ware. The upper one which fol-
types and a few evolved shapes in the Sturdy Red lowed after a desertion was marked by the occurrence
Ware and the Buff Ware. The paintings executed on of plain Black-and-Red Ware similar to that found
pottery include black over Red Ware and chocolate at Nagal. According to the excavator (IAR 1961-62),
over Buff Ware. The vessel shapes recovered from the the site, however, continued in occupation until the
site include bowls, dishes and jars. The site can be rela- beginning of the Christian era, as evidenced by pot-
tively dated to Rangpur IIB and IIC (Rao 1963). The tery and other finds. The painted pottery from the site
site was re-excavated in 2011 by National Institute of was mainly characterised by concave sided carinated
Oceanology, Goa (Farooqi et al. 2013: 2631-47). dishes decorated with series of oblique slashes, grids,
honeycombs, etc., on the red slipped convex exterior.
Randaliyo A thicker pottery in sturdy fabric with painted designs
In 1958-59, Randaliyo (21° 48' 00" N, 71° 03' 00" E) both in black and chocolate pigments was excavated
in Randal Dadwa of the Rajkot district was excavated from the site. Potsherds bearing graffiti and a few
by P.P. Pandya of Department of Archaeology, Sau- stone flakes were also unearthed from the site (IAR
rashtra. The site contained a cemetery and one of the 1961-62).
graves excavated exposed an extended skeleton. Frag-
ments of Harappan ceramics were recovered from the Andhi
vicinity of the skeleton (IAR 1958-59: 19). The trial excavation at the site of Andhi (21° 23' 00" N,
72° 47' 00" E) in 1961-62 by K.V. Soundara Rajan of
Nagal the ASI yielded Chalcolithic Black Painted Red and
The excavation at Nagal (21° 34' 00" N, 72° 53 ' 00" E) plain Black-and Red Wares, besides a number of flut-
in the Bharuch district in 1961-62 by K.V. Soundara ed cores and flakes of microlithic order. The cultural
Rajan of the ASI revealed a Chalcolithic cultural sequence at the site revealed that in the upper levels of
occupation.Vestiges of microlithic industry associ- the Chalcolithic strata, the Black-Painted Red Ware
ated with Black-and-Red Ware and small fragments was overlapped by the plain Black-and-Red Ware (IAR
of Ochrous Red Ware similar to the ceramics from 1961-62).
Maheswar and Nasik - Jorwe were recovered from
the mound. In the lowest level of the trench, a north- Desalpur
south oriented extended human burial was noticed K.V. Soundara Rajan of the ASI excavated the for-
but its cultural affiliation is unclear. Based on the lo- tified Harappan site of Desalpur (Gunthli) (23° 25'
cation and nature of occupation, the excavator opines 00" N, 60° 10' 00" E) measuring 130 m × 100 m ×

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 5 Ceramics from Desalpar (after Uesugi et al. 2015)

3 m, located on the northern bank of the stream Jokha


Bamu-Chela, a tributary of the river Dhrub in the In 1966-67, R.N. Mehta and S.N. Chowdhary of the
taluka Nakhtrana of the district Kachchh in 1963-64. Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda undertook
Among the two cultural periods assigned to the site, the excavation at Jokha (21° 17' 00" N, 73° 00' 00" E)
Period I comprised two sub-phases - Period IA (Urban in the Surat district. The site measuring about 150
Harappan) and Period IB (Post-Urban Harappan). m × 100 m × 2 m revealed three cultural periods.
Period II is Early Historic assignable to the Rang-Ma- Period I (circa 1500 - 1000 BC) was marked by the
hal complex. Both stone and mud brick structures of occurrence of Post-Urban Harappan ceramics, Mal-
the Harappan period were exposed from the site and wa Ware and Jorwe Ware, etched beads, fragment of
three structural phases were reported from Period IA. copper celt, microlithic cores, flakes, blades, lunates,
Apart from the Harappan ceramics (Figure 5) (Uesugi triangles and trapezes and terracotta objects. The most
et al. 2015: 180-218), Micaceous Red Ware was also noteworthy find from this period was a Neolithic celt.
reported from the site. Most notable finds from the Two other celts were also obtained from the surface of
site are two script bearing seals, one on steatite and the mound. Based on the ceramic evidence, the exca-
the other on copper, lettered terracotta sealing, jasper vators identify Jokha as the junction of three cultures:
and terracotta weights, copper knives, chisels, rods the Harappan from the north, the Malwa Chalcolith-
and rings, terracotta cart frames and animal figurines. ic from the east and the Deccan Chalcolithic from the
Based on the comparative study of artefacts, the exca- west. Based on ceramics, Period II is dated to the circa
vator relatively dated Period I of Desalpur to 2000 - 6th century BC - 1st century AD and Period III to
1600 BC (IAR 1963-64; Soundara Rajan 1984: 217- the circa 1st to 6th century AD (IAR 1966-67; Mehta
226). and Chaudhary 1971).

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Dhatva ascribable to the end of the first millennium AD (IAR


In 1967-68, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Bar- 1969-70; Allchin et al. 1995).
oda conducted the excavation at Dhatva (21° 09' 00"
N, 72° 46' 00" E) in the Surat district to determine the Surkotada
extent of the Chalcolithic cultures in South Gujarat. In 1970-71 and 1971-72, J.P. Joshi of the ASI under-
The site revealed two cultural periods; Period I (circa took excavations at Surkotada (23° 37' 00" N, 70° 50'
1500 - 1000 BC) was characterised by the Chalco- 00" E) in Kachchh. The excavation brought to light
lithic pottery showing affinities with similar cultures the remains of Harappan culture divided into three
of Saurashtra and Malwa and stone tools like lunates, sub-periods, namely IA, IB and IC. The inhabitants of
scrapers and blades of jasper, agate and chert. Period Period IA was the Urban Harappan with some traits
II (circa 500 BC - AD 200) was characterised by Early of an antecedent culture and significant feature of the
Historic antiquities such as punch-marked coins and period was the occurrence of steatite seal, beads, long
Red Polished Ware. Based on a limited quantity and blades of chert and four different ceramic industries
variety of Chalcolithic pottery, the excavators suggest- along with the Harappan, namely non-Harappan
ed that this site was just a small village settlement (IAR Sturdy Red Ware, Polychrome Ware with designs
1967-68; Mehta and Chaudhary 1975). painted in purple, white and black showing wavy
lines, vertically grouped latticed arches, bands with
Malvan chequered patterns, etc., fine Cream Slipped Ware
In 1969-70, F.R. Allchin of Cambridge University bearing painted designs showing chain loop patterns,
and J.P. Joshi of the ASI undertook an excavation at oblique slashes within borders and Reserved Slip
Malvan (21° 06' 00" N, 72° 43' 00" E) in the Surat dis- Ware. During Period IB, the Harappan elements con-
trict. The 1.3 m thick habitation deposit yielded evi- tinued in a decreasing order along with non-Harappan
dence of two cultural periods; Period I is assignable to painted Coarse Red Ware, Reserved Slip Ware, Cream
the Post-Harappan culture and Period II to the Early Slipped Ware and Polychrome Ware. Other impor-
Medieval times. Apart from the Chalcolithic ceramic, tant antiquities recovered from the period were a flat
blades of jasper, agate, chalcedony and bloodstone, copper celt and a chisel. The occurrence of a thick
cores, flake blades, objects of copper or bronze (small layer of ash marked the end of Sub-Period IB. Period
rod and bangle), terracotta humped bulls, circular or IC was characterised by white painted Black-and-Red
bun-shaped terracotta cakes, beads of carnelian and Ware mainly represented by bowls with or without
bones of animals like cattle, goat, sheep, dog, pig, carination, Stud-handles and an inscribed seal. Hara-
deer, barasingha, birds and fishes were also unearthed. ppan elements continued in a restricted manner. The
The structural remains of Period I are comprised of a fortified settlement consisted of a citadel, lower town
ditch (18 m × 1.5 m × 1.1 m) cut into the natural soil, and a cemetery to the south-west. Another important
running in the east-west direction. The sides of the feature of the site is the provision of a rectangular
structure were found to be inclined at an angle of 30o barbican with a ramp, steps and guard rooms in front
and gradually widen towards the eastern side. A mud of the southern gate of the citadel and the addition of
brick structure was present on the northern side and rectangular bastions at the corners of the structures.
the size of the brick was 27 cm × 17 cm × 9 cm. The The noteworthy point about Surkotada is the occur-
occupation of Period II was temporary in nature and rence of a few bones of horse (?) (IAR 1970-71, 1971-
was distinguished by the occurrence of Black Ware 72; Joshi 1966: 62-69, 1972a: 21-35, 1972b: 98-144,

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

1979: 59-64; Joshi 1990; Bökönyi 1997: 297-307; Kanewal


Meadow and Patel 1997: 308-315). In 1977-78, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of
Baroda carried out excavations on two mounds
Khanpur known as Kesrisimha-no-Tekro and Sai-no-Tekro
In 1976-77, Chitalwala and Thomas conducted some situated on the bank of the lake at the Kanewal (22°
section scrapings at the Chalcolithic mound at Khan- 27' 00" N, 72° 30' 00" E) village in the Anand district.
pur (22° 44' 00" N, 70° 41' 30" E) in the Morbi taluka Kesarisimha-no-Tekro comprised of a single culture
of the Rajkot district to collect animal bones. The ar- occupation belonging to the Chalcolithic period, di-
tifacts were collected from the sections of a number of visible into two phases, A and B. Two circular huts of
neatly cut shallow trenches dug for the construction wattle and daub having rammed earth floorings were
of a pond. Based on the ceramic evidence, the site was encountered at different levels and from these huts,
divided into two chronological horizons correspond- household articles such as pots, quern, terracotta lamp
ing to Rangpur IIB and IIC respectively. Bones of and twenty-two complete terracotta balls were re-
cattle, sheep, goat, pig, gazelle, turtle and mollusca covered. The ceramic industry showed affinities with
shells were the major biological finds from the site Lothal B, Rangpur IIA, IIB, IIC and III. At the Sai-
(Chitalwala and Thomas 1978). no-Tekro mound, the Chalcolithic occupation was
preceded by Mesolithic people. In the Chalcolithic
Zekhada levels, two circular huts, similar to those found at Ke-
In 1977-78, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of sarisimha-no-Tekro, were exposed. Two fragments of
Baroda, conducted an excavation at the Chalcolithic dish-on-stand, dish, miniature pots, vases and bowls
site with a deposit of 1.5 m thick, known differently as in plain and painted red ware were recovered from the
Hamasari, Harpasari or Amasari no Tekro (23° 51' 00" huts and the pottery in its form and fabric is compa-
N, 71° 28' 00" E) in the Zekhada/Jekhda village of the rable to the ceramics from Rangpur IIB and IIC (IAR
Santalpur taluka, to investigate its cultural content. 1977-78; Mehta et al. 1980).
The excavations revealed evidence for the existence
of eleven wattle and daub circular huts, occasionally Pabumath
provided with porch. The floorings of the huts were The Department of Archaeology, Government of Gu-
made of rammed earth. The ceramics recovered from jarat carried out excavations at Pabumath (23° 37' 00"
this site include Gritty Red Ware, Coarse Red Ware, N, 70° 31' 40" E) in the Rapar taluka of the Kachchh
Coarse Gray Ware, Buff Ware, Black-and-Red Ware district during 1977-78, 1978-79 and 1980-81. The
and Lustrous Red Ware. These ceramics showed excavation revealed a 5 m thick cultural deposit
similarities with those from Harappan and Post-Hara- belonging to the Urban and Post-Urban Harappan
ppan sites like Rangpur, Surkotada and Ahar. Other periods separated by a burning activity. Apart from a
antiquities from the site include stone beads, cores, building complex, ceramics of both the periods, in-
blades; copper bangles, awl, wires of copper, terracotta scribed steatite seal, stone beads, shell bangles, ear ring
cakes of triangular and rectangular shapes and balls. and beads of the bones and copper awl, arrow head,
Bones of cow, buffalo, goat/sheep, pig, nilgai, camel, bangle, needle and antimony rods were also unearthed
mongoose and fish represent the animal remains from from the site (IAR 1977-78, 1978-79, 1980-81).
the site (IAR 1977-78; Momin 1983: 120-125; Bhat-
tacharya 1981; Chatterjee 1995).

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Taraghda the Post-Urban Harappan and Lustrous Red Ware-us-


In 1978-79, the Department of Archaeology, Govern- ing communities relatively datable to the 15th - 14th
ment of Gujarat carried out a small scale excavation at centuries BC. The second stage of the site was marked
Taraghda (21° 44' 00" N, 70° 26' 00" E) in the Rajkot by house floors and thin black-on-red ware pottery
district to ascertain its cultural sequence. The Hara- datable to 900 - 500 BC and the rest of the stages are
ppan mound was disturbed to a depth of 1 meter by later in date (IAR 1979-80).
the intensive digging of local people. The single-cul-
tural-period site has not revealed structural remains. Oriyo Timbo
According to the excavators, the ceramics showed sim- Department of Archaeology, Gujarat State and Uni-
ilarity with the ceramics from Prabhas Patan. Other versity of Pennsylvania conducted an excavation at
artefacts recovered from the site include shell objects, Oriyo Timbo (21° 54' 00" N, 71° 32' 00" E) near the
copper ring, carnelian beads and weights (IAR 1978- Chiroda village of the Gadhada taluka in the Bhavan-
79). agar district in 1981-82. The excavations at the Chal-
colithic mound measuring 175 m × 250 m revealed
Valabhi two periods of occupation with microliths-using in-
In 1979-80, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Bar- habitants preceding a pastoral camp of Lustrous Red
oda conducted an excavation of the Harappan (Urban Ware-using community. The site contained deep stor-
Harappan and Post Urban Harappan) site at Valabhi/ age pits, chuhlas and hearths. The artifacts from the
Nesadi (21° 53' 00" N, 71° 55' 00" E) in the Bhavnagar Chalcolithic period include terracotta bead/pendant
district. The small site with 0.5 m thick deposit re- with incised geometric design and ceramic forms like
vealed evidence for the existence of circular huts. The pots, jars, bowls and basins. Remains of got, sheep,
ceramic types are represented by red, Buff, Lustrous gazelle, antelope, blue bull and rhinoceros were also
Red and Black-and-Red Wares. Vessel shapes from the recovered from the site. In 1989-90, Department of
site include dish-on-stand, bowl (with or without stud Archaeology, Gujarat State and University of Pennsyl-
handle), goblet, basin, lamp and dish. A few other vania resumed the excavations at Oriyo Timbo with a
antiquities from the site include terracotta bull figu- view to confirming the sequence, gathering additional
rines, beads, lamps, spindle whorls, toy cart wheels, radiocarbon dating samples, investigating the nature
discs and scrapers. Based on the artefact evidence, the of the microlithic and Lustous Red Ware settlement
settlement is roughly dated to the time bracket of the and expanding the samples of palaeobotanical remains
second-third millennium BC (IAR 1979-80; Mehta for both periods. The findings from the Chalcolithic
1984). level include chulhas, hearths, storage pits, tandoor
and ceramics. A true microlithic component was not
Dwarka found during the excavation, even though the new
In 1979-80, S.R. Rao of the ASI carried out an exca- trenches were laid directly next to the trenches exca-
vation in the forecourt of the Dwarakadhish temple vated in the earlier period (IAR 1989-90; Rissman
at Dwarka (22° 13' 00" N, 69° 00' 00" E) in the Jam- and Chitalwala 1990).
nagar district to ascertain the antiquity of the site.
Four trenches were excavated at the site and 10.10 m Vagad
deposit revealed evidence for eight successive stages Vagad (22° 19' 00" N, 71° 52' 00" E), a Chalcolthic
of habitation. The earliest inhabitants of the site were site, is located on the right bank of the Bhadar river in

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

the Dhandhuka taluka of the Ahmedabad district. The (1.30 - 1.40 m deposit). Period IA yielded Harappan
mound locally known as Kedio Timbo excavated by artefacts and Period IB was represented by structures
the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 1981- made of stone slab paved floors and rubble walls, fire
1982 covers an area of 450 m from north to south and altar (?)/ pottery kiln and other artefacts. Apart from
300 m from east to west and rises to a height of 2 m Classical Harappan ceramics and one stud handled
from the surrounding plain. The single-cultural-peri- bowl, shell objects such as bangles, pendants, broken
od site is divided into three sub-periods, viz. Period ladles, inlays, beads and debitage, stone objects con-
IA, IB and IC based on three successive structural sisting of weight, beads, blades and polishers, folded
levels. Six circular hut remains were unearthed from copper sheet and terracotta objects such as triangular
the site. Yajna vedikas/fire pits were also unearthed cakes, bangles and toy cart frames were recovered
from the site. The ceramics excavated from the site in- from the site. Animal remains from the site include
clude Sturdy Red Ware, Buff Ware, Chocolate Slipped those of cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, blue bull, antelope,
Ware, Micaceous Red Ware, Crude Red Ware, Crude spotted deer, sambar and marine fish (IAR 1983-84;
Grey Ware and white painted Black-and-Red Ware. Bhan and Kenoyer 1984a: 115-120, 1984b: 67-80;
Other finds from the site include terracotta and stone Hegde et al. 1985: 3-20; Hegde et al. 1990a).
weights, pulley-shaped terracotta ear ornaments,
beads of various materials, shell bangles with chevron Ratanpura
motif, toy cart wheels, discs, spindle whorls, crucibles, In 1984-85, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of
copper objects, saddle querns, pestles, rubber stones Baroda carried out an excavation at the Post-Urban
and sling balls. Faunal remains recovered from the site Harappan settlement located in the Ratanpura village
are of animals like the cow, buffalo, goat, sheep, dog, (23° 28 N, 71° 48 E), the Sami taluka of the Patan
spotted deer, gazelle, black buck, blue bull, pig and district. The site comprising four mounds was divided
14
rat. Calibrated C date of Vagad Period IA is 2190 into 10 sq m grids and soil samples were collected
- 2080 BC and Period IB is 1800 - 1600 BC; Period from alternate grids for phosphate analysis to deter-
IC must be later in date (Sonawane and Mehta 1985; mine the relative intensity of human intervention
Krishnan 1986; Dimri 1994). in different parts of the site and based on its results
twelve trenches were dug, one each in Mounds I and
Nageshwar III, seven in Mound II and three in Mound IV. The
In 1983-84, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of excavation in Mound I revealed Post-Urban Harap-
Baroda conducted an excavation at shell object-man- pan ceramics. Mound II revealed a cultural deposit of
ufacturing Harappan settlement situated near a large 85 to 95 cm thick broadly comparable with Rangpur
sweet water lake in the Nageshwar village (22° 20' IIC. A number of rammed earth floors of circular huts
00" N, 69° 03' 00" E), the Okhamandal taluka of with U-shaped chullah of mud built on the floor were
the Jamnagar district. The Pindara and Poshitra Bay the structural remains. Antiquities from the mound
coasts which are rich in Turbinella pyrum and Chico- include ceramic wares like the Harappan, plain and
reus ramosus shells, raw materials for manufacturing painted sturdy Red Ware, Buff Ware, Lustrous Red
various objects, are in close proximity of the site. The Ware, white painted and plain Black-and-Red Ware,
site destroyed in 1976 by local earthwork contractors' Coarse Grey Ware and Coarse Red Ware, pestle
revealed evidence of Harappan culture divisible into stones, saddle querns and beads of carnelian, steatite,
two phases, Period IA (0.70 - 1.20 m deposit) and IB paste, shell and terracotta. Mound III revealed large

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

quantities of bone fragments along with Mesolithic 1988: 55-65, 1990b: 191-195).
tools such as fluted cores, flakes of chert, chalcedony
and was devoid of pottery. The excavation at Mound Shikarpur
IV brought to light three circular pits containing ash, The Harappan site at Shikarpur (23° 07' 00" N, 70° 35'
charcoal, charred and uncharred bone pieces, pottery, 00" E) locally known as Valamiyo Timbo located in
fragments of terracotta sealings and terracotta lumps the Bhachau taluka of the district Kachchh was first
with or without thread mark (IAR 1984-85). excavated by Department of Archaeology, Govern-
ment of Gujarat during 1987-1990. According to the
Nagwada excavators, the layers 1 to 9 at Shikarpur represent Ur-
During 1985-86 to 1989-90, the Maharaja Sayajirao ban Harappan and layers 10 to 19 belong to Pre-Ur-
University of Baroda carried out excavations at the ban Harappan. Harappan ceramics, terracotta animal
Harappan settlement locally known as Godh (23° 18' figurines, toy carts, bangles and triangular cakes, shell
15" N, 71° 42' 45" E) in the Nagwada Village, the Das- beads and bangles, semi-precious stone objects like
ada taluk of the Surendranagar district. The mound pendants and beads, copper objects like rings, bangles
was divided into 10 m × 10 m grids and soil samples and chisels, chert blades and bone objects were un-
were obtained from each grid for phosphate analysis. earthed from the site. The faunal remains from the site
Based on its results, trenches were selected for excava- were of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig, dog, blue bull,
tions. The 1 m thick deposit revealed four structural blackbuck, jackal, hare and rhinoceros. During 2007-
levels of the Harappan period divisible into two Peri- 08 to 2013-14, the fortified settlement was re-exca-
ods IA (layer 5) and IB (layer 1-4). A few burials, both vated by the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
inhumation and symbolic, represented Period IA and with a view to establishing the cultural sequence as
the ceramics associated with the burials showed affin- well as the settlement features in terms of the function
ity to the Pre-Harappan pottery from Amri, Nal and of the site. After preparing the contour map of the
Kot Diji. The first phase of structural activity in the site using total station, site was divided into 5 m × 5
site was marked by post-holes that went into natural m grids or excavation units. The excavation revealed a
soil in the fifth layer. Rectangular structures made of habitation deposit of 6.40 m thick divisible into three
undressed stones were observed in the second phase phases of Harappan occupation. Phase I was marked
and rectangular structures of moulded mud bricks by artifacts of the Claasical Harappan, Anarta and
represented the third phase. Rectangular structures Sorath Harappan (very few from mid-level onwards);
constructed out of rubble stones were observed in the Phase II by the Sorath Harappan, Classical Harappan
fourth phase. Classical Harappan ceramics were less in and Anarta; and Phase III by the Post-Urban Sorath
quantity in comparison to the Anarta pottery; white Harappan. Both mud brick and stone structures were
painted Black-and-Red Ware was also encountered. unearthed with an open place in the middle of the
The site revealed the evidence for craft activities like site. Apart from the ceramics, the major artefacts
shell working and stone bead making. An inscribed recovered from the site include terracotta tablet, seal,
steatite seal/pendant, terracotta sealing, female figu- sealings, steatite pendant, female and male figurines,
rine, agate weights, gold beads and copper celts were animal figurines, cart frames (Figure 6), copper celt,
14
the noteworthy findings. The C date for the upper Rohri chert core and blades, weights, beads and drill
level of Period IB is 2180+/-80 BC (IAR 1985-86, bits (IAR 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90; Bhan and
1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90; Hegde et al. Ajithprasad 2008: 1-9, 2009: 1-9; Chase et al. 2014:

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 6 Terracotta objects from Shikarpur (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

63-78). cart frames, beads of carnelian, faience and steatite,


cubical chert weights and a square faience seal. Anoth-
Kuntasi er discovery was that of a small pot embedded in one
During 1987-88 to 1989-90, Deccan College, Pune of the rooms of a house, containing thousands of ste-
and Department of Archaeology, Government of Gu- atite micro-beads, some copper bangles and two rings
jarat carried out excavations at the fortified Harappan of copper. Period II showed signs of decadence in the
settlement locally known as Bibi-no-Timbo (22° 50' area of the settlement. Some of the Harappan ceramic
40" N, 70° 37' 30" E) located in the Kuntasi village of shapes continued and the stud of the bowls became
the Rajkot district. The excavations of 7 m habitation longer. The occurrence of the Ahar type of Black-and-
deposit revealed two main cultural periods at the site; Red Ware was another noteworthy feature. Based on
Urban Harappan and Post-Urban Harappan respec- the local traditions, artifact remains and location of
tively. The fortification encloses an area about 125 m the site, the excavators believe that Kuntasi may have
square. Though the lower town is absent at the site, functioned as a high tide estuarine port. (IAR 1987-
there were a few houses outside the fortification. The 88, 1988-89, 1989-90; Dhavalikar 1992: 73-82, 1994;
houses inside the fortification were arranged along Dhavalikar et al. 1996).
four sides leaving an open area at the centre. Both
stone and mud-brick structures are present at the site. Dholavira
Period I yielded Harappan ceramics, terracotta toy Dholavira (23° 53' 10" N, 70° 13' 00" E) excavated

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 7 Late Sorath Harappan stone structure from Dholavira (Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India)

in 1989-90 to 2003-2004 by R.S. Bisht of the ASI to it from the west. In the north, the residential area
is one among the five largest Harappan cities in the of stage II was cleared of its structures for carving out
subcontinent and is located in the Bhachau taluka of a ground. Further north, an extensive walled town, i.e.
the Kachchh district. Ruins of the site are spread over middle town was founded. Reservoirs were created
an area of about 100 hectares on the Khadir Island. on the south, west and north of the built-up divisions.
Two seasonal water channels Manhar and Mansar are An outer fortification was also constructed during this
flowing on the south and north of the walled settle- stage. During stage III, the settlement was damaged
ment. The site is remarkable for its exquisite planning, by a natural catastrophe and repairs were undertaken
monumental structures, aesthetic architecture, effi- and the lower town was added. Stage IV belonged
cient water harvesting system and funerary architec- to the Classical Harappan phase and almost all the
ture. The excavator identified seven stages of cultural salient features of the city planning were maintained
change at the site. The first settlement that was raised along with the monumental structures such as the
at the site in stage I was a fortress now lying buried in gateways, fortification, and drainage system. Stage V
the citadel mound and in stage II, a residential area is characterised by the general decline, particularly in
was added to the north of the walled settlement. Stage the maintenance of the city, was followed by a tem-
III was the most creative and important phase during porary desertion of the site. The stage VI is a state of
which the fortress was made into a formidable castle transformed Harappan Culture, i.e. the Post-Urban
and another walled sub division, viz. bailey, was added Harappan phase. Domestic buildings were laid out

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

in a different planning and probably, after a century structural phases were noticed at Babar Kot and the
the Post-Urban Harappans of stage VI abandoned first was represented by the remains of walls oriented
the settlement. The new comers of stage VII did not in cardinal directions. The noteworthy feature of
use the Classical Harappan ceramics. They built their this phase was the bowl-shaped pit, resting on the
houses in the circular form and no planning as such occupational surface. Phase II was associated with
was followed (Figure 7). The site was never occupied Rojdi C. The stone walls running either from north
once the people of stage VII left. The funerary struc- to south or from east to west, meeting with each other
tures which were found in a cemetery that lay to the without any intersection, were the main feature of
west of the city are also remarkable for the density of this phase. Remnants of floor having a complete pot
structures. The excavations also brought to light the and a grinding stone were noticed from this phase.
existence of large tumulis which were circular in the Remains of a hearth were also found in the northwest
plan and these hemispherical structures were made of corner of the floor. The last building activity at the
mud bricks. The site has yielded an inscription widely site was associated with the historical period. Apart
known as the signboard made up of ten large-sized from the ceramics, microlithic blades, grinding stones
signs of the Indus script and fragment of a large slab and chipped stones were recovered from the site. Both
engraved with three large Indus signs. Apart from wild and domestic animal bones and plant remains
the huge amount of Chalcolithic pottery, human and were also recovered from the site. Based on the ceram-
animal figurines, chert blades, stone weights, copper ic evidence, the Harappan settlement at Babar Kot
objects, steatite seals, terracotta sealings, beads of can be dated equivalent to that of Rojdi B, i.e. c. 2200
semiprecious stones and drill bits were also unearthed - 1700 BC (IAR 1990-91; Possehl 1994b: 193-204).
from the site. According to the excavator, the seven
cultural stages of Dholavira can be dated between Padri
3500 - 1700 BC (IAR 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, During 1990-91 to 1995-96, Deccan College, Pune
1992-93, 1993-94, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999- excavated the Chalcolithic mound at Padri (21° 20'
00, 2000-01; Bisht 1989a: 397-408, 1989b: 265-272, 21" N, 72° 06' 32" E) locally known as Kerala no
1991: 71-82, 1994, 1997: 107-120, 1998-99: 14-37, Dhoro located in the Talaja taluka of the Bhavnagar
2000: 11-23, 2004: 35-48, 2006: 283-338, 2010: 75- district. The site revealed four-fold cultural sequence,
76). i.e. the Pre-Urban Harappan (Padri Ware), Urban
Harappan (Phase I and II), Post-Urban Harappan
Babar Kot and Early Historic. Period I was represented by the re-
The fortified Harappan settlement at Babar Kot (22° mains of a mud pressed structure, Padri Ware, Sorath
16' 30" N, 71° 34' 00" E) located in the Paliyad village, Harappan sherds and steatite beads. The 14C dates for
the Botad taluka of the Bhavnagar district was exca- the Pre-Urban Harappan phase at Padri go back to a
vated in 1990-91 by Gregory L. Possehl of University fourth millennium BC (3800 BC). The Urban Hara-
of Pennsylvania and M.H. Raval of the Department ppan period yielded a large amount of fine painted
of Archaeology, Gujarat. The mound measuring 190 and coarse pottery, which is similar to Rangpur IIB
m × 140 m × 2.5 m was divided into small grids and and Rojdi B, and 14C date for the uppermost levels
25 trenches located in different parts of the site were of this Phase is 2300 BC. Period III yielded ceramics
excavated. The topmost strata represented artefacts akin to Rangpur IIC and Early Historic period was
of both Early Historic and Medieval periods. Three marked by Red Polished Ware (IAR 1990-91, 1991-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 8 DEM of Chalcolithic mound at Loteshwar (Courtesy: NoGAP)

92, 1993-94, 1995-96; Shinde 1991: 87-89, 1992a: and non-geometric tool types, lithic debitage, grind-
79-86, 1992b: 55-66, 1998: 173-182, 2006: 151-158; ing/pallet stones, hammer stones and animal bones.
Shinde and Kar 1992: 105-110; Shinde and Thomas One human skeleton belonging to this period was
1993: 145-147; Pathak 1992: 87-89; Bhagat 2001; unearthed from one of the trenches. The Chalcolithic
Shirvalkar 2008). period was represented by the Anarta pottery, a few
Harappan sherds, blades, beads, bangle pieces of shell
Loteshwar and copper, copper punch (?), grinding/pallet stones,
In 1990-91, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of hammer stones, terracotta pellets, terracotta female
Baroda and in 2009-10, under the direction of P. figurine (?) and spindle whorls. No structural remains
Ajithprasad of the Maharaja Sayajirao University were unearthed from the site and an important fea-
of Baroda and Marco Madella of CSIC, Barcelona, ture noticed at the site was the occurrence of a large
Spain, carried out excavations at Loteshwar (23° 36' number of pits, which were dug during this period.
00" N, 71° 51' 00" E) in the Sami taluka, the Patan Their size is about 2 m in diameter and 0.5 m to 2 m
district. The site, locally known as Khari-no-Timbo, in depth in diameter, and they were filled with ash,
is located on a high sand dune (Figure 8) close to charcoal, pottery, animal bones and microliths. This
the left bank of Khari Nadi, tributary of the Rupen period also revealed one human burial. The earliest
14
river. The excavation revealed a habitation deposit of C date for the Mesolithic occupation at the site is
1.8 m in thickness divisible into two periods. Period 7300 BC and the Chalcolithic deposit can be dated
I belong to the Mesolithic Culture and Period II to between 3700 - 2200 BC (IAR 1990-91; Mahida
the Harappan-affiliated Chalcolithic culture. Period I 1992, 1995: 85-87; Patel 1992; Brahmbhatt 2000;
was represented by a 1 m thick habitation deposit of Ajithprasad 2002: 129-158; Yadav 2005; Patel 2008:
microlith-using community. The occupational debris 123-134, 2009: 173-188; Rajesh 2011; Rajesh et al.
of the microlithic period included both geometric 2013b: 10-45).

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Jaidak a 90 cm thick habitational deposit of the Mesolithic,


During 1991-92, 2005-06 and 2006-07, the Maharaja Harappan-affiliated Chalcolithic and Historic peri-
Sayajirao University of Baroda carried out an excava- ods. The Chalcolithic period has a deposit of about
tion at fortified bipartite Sorath Harappan settlement 50 cm, and it was concentrated in the southern part
at Jaidak/Pithad (22° 41' 00" N, 70° 35' 00" E) locally of the mound. No structural remains were unearthed
known as Jaidak no Timbo in the Jodiya taluka of the from the site. The ceramics from the site include
district Jamnagar. The site has two mounds; Jaidak-1, Gritty Red Ware and Fine Red Ware of the Anarta
the larger one measuring 300 m × 150 m with a height tradition, Black-and-Red Ware and the Pre-Harappan
of about 5 m from the surrounding plain and Jaidak-2, Burial pottery similar to those from Amri, Nal, Kot
probably an extension of the first mound, measures Diji and Balakot. Other antiquities found in the exca-
140 m × 90 m. In 1991-92, an excavation was carried vation constitute copper/bronze nail, folded strip of
out on the Jaidak-2 mound and revealed a 1.40 m hab- copper, fish hook, chert blades, beads of chalcedony,
itation deposit belonging to two distinctive periods. steatite, lapis lazuli, terracotta, shell and faience, ter-
Of these, Period I belongs to the Mesolithic/micro- racotta lumps and triangular cakes. The artefacts of
lithic culture and Period II is the Sorath Harappan. late Early Historic (5th - 6th centuries AD) and late
During 2005-06 and 2006-07, an excavation was car- Medieval period were also unearthed from the site
ried out at Jaidak-1 mound and revealed two phases in a limited quantity (IAR 1992-93; Majumdar and
of Period II (Sorath Harappan) and flimsy evidence Sonawane 1996-97: 11-17; Majumdar 2006: 159-166,
for a medieval occupation. Period IIA is noted for Majumdar 1999).
the construction of the fortification and many stone
structures within it. The ceramics of this period bear Santhli
close similarity with pottery from the sites of Rangpur In 1993-94, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Bar-
IIB, Rojdi B, Kuntasi IA and IB, and Bagasra III. Oth- oda carried out an excavation at Santhli locally known
er antiquities from this period include stone beads, as Gachi no Thumdo (Santhli II) (23° 54' 00" N, 71°
copper ornaments, terracotta beads, perforated and 29' 10" E) in the Radhanpur taluka of the Banaskan-
imperforated pottery discs and bull figurine. Period tha district. The site measuring 120 m × 90 m revealed
IIB represents the economic decline of the occupants a 40 cm habitation deposit belonging to two cultural
of the site. The ceramics recovered from this period periods. Period I at the site is Mesolithic having a 25
bears close resemblance to those from Rangpur IIC, - 30cm deposit and Period II is Chalcolithic of a 10
Rojdi C and Bagasra IV (IAR 1991-92; Ajithprasad - 15cm cultural deposit. Mesolithic artefacts of ge-
2008b: 83-99; Dwivedi 2009; Sen 2009). ometric and non-geometric nature including lunates,
triangles, trapezes, crescents, points, backed blades
Moti Pipli along with blade cores, flake cores and lithic debitage
In 1992-93, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of were excavated from the site. A number of small piec-
Baroda conducted an excavation at Moti Pipli (23° 49' es of flat sandstone slabs or palette stones were also
00" N, 71° 32' 00" E) in the Radhnapur taluka of the unearthed from the site. This level also yielded a large
Banaskantha district. The site locally known as Shak- quantity of skeletal remains of the animals. Period II
tari no Timbo is situated next to a large inter-dunal was represented by a few ceramic sherds, stone and
depression known by the name Shaktari Talav. The shell beads, shell bangles and two inhumation burials.
excavation at the site of 600 m × 120 m in size yielded One of them was double burial and associated with

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

five ceramic vessels of different shapes. The second while the smaller ones measured about half a meter.
burial was of a child, also associated with a few vessels. The pits yielded Sorath Harappan pottery analogous
The noteworthy feature of the site is the lone presence to the Rojdi A and B types. One of the pits yielded a
of Pre-Urban Harappan Burial pottery types (IAR number of Lustrous Red Ware bowls and dishes. Most
1993-94; Majumdar 1999; Ajithprasad 2002: 129- of the pottery recovered from another pit was of the
158). Anarta tradition. Another interesting find was that of
a pottery kiln stacked with Sorath Harappan pottery
Datrana (IAR 1993-94; Ajithprasad 2002; Rajesh et al. 2013a:
During 1993-94 and 1994-95, the Maharaja Saya- 181-209).
jirao University of Baroda and in 2010-11 under the
direction of Ajithprasad of the Maharaja Sayajirao Mathutra
University of Baroda and Marco Madella of CSIC, In 1994-95, Abhijit Majumdar of the Maharaja
Barcelona, Spain, carried out excavations at Datrana Sayajirao University of Baroda conducted a trial exca-
(Mounds II, IV and V) (23° 46' 00" N, 71° 06' 00" E) vation at Mathutra I (Madhavya no Timbo) (23° 44'
in the Santalpur talukaof the Banaskantha district. 00" N, 71° 05' 00" E) in the Santalpur taluka of the
The spread of artefacts consisting of stone blades, Banaskantha district. The excavation in the northern
lithic debitage and a few potsherds covered an area of part of the mound revealed that the spread of pottery
about 50 hectares. Mound IV locally known as Hadka was mainly on the surface except disc bases of bowl
walu Khetar revealed a total habitation deposit of 75 - and pot and a grinding stone that were found bur-
90 cm incorporating two cultural periods, Period I be- ied in the trench. The shreds showed affinity to the
ing Mesolithic and Period II being Chalcolithic. The Pre-Urban Harappan Burial pottery. The excavation at
Chalcolithic period was represented by long crested the centre of the mound revealed three vessel bases as-
ridged blades (Figure 9), prismatic blade cores (Figure sociated with human teeth. The surface finds from the
10), stone beads and rough-outs, copper punch point site include Anarta pottery and Post-Urban Harappan
and ceramics. The ceramics from the mound include ceramics (Majumdar 1999).
Pre-Prabhas, Anarta and Pre-Urban Harappan Burial
pottery. The occurrence of the Anarta and Pre-Urban Bagasra
Harappan Burial pottery in the upper level close to During 1995-96 to 2004-2005, the Maharaja Saya-
the surface indicates that the Pre-Prabhas pottery-us- jirao University of Baroda conducted excavations
ing community were the earliest Chalcolithic inhab- at fortified Harappan settlement at Bagasra, locally
itants at the site. Datrana V locally known as Patel known as Gola Dhoro (23° 03' 30" N, 70° 37' 10" E)
no Khetar revealed a cultural deposit of 70 - 90 cm in the Maliya taluka of the Rajkot district. The site
belonging to the Mesolithic and Chalcolithic periods. measuring 160 × 120 m is roughly rectangular in
The Chalcolithic deposit of 15 - 20 cm thick revealed layout. The excavations at the site uncovered a 7.75 m
Pre-Urban Harappan Burial pottery and long chalced- thick deposit of habitation belonging to four distinct
ony blades. Datrana II locally known as Ravechi Mata phases; Phase I to Phase IV. Phase I represents the ear-
no Timbo revealed a single period of the Chalcolithic ly stage of the Urban Harappan along with the Anarta
occupation. The habitation deposit in this mound was pottery. Phase II is demarcated by the construction of
confined to pits of different dimensions; the largest a fortification. As in Phase I, this phase incorporates
one with a diameter of about 2 m and a depth of 1 m, both Classical/Urban Harappan remains and Anarta

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 9 Stone blades from Datrana IV (Courtesy: NoGAP)

Figure 10 Blade cores from Datrana IV (Courtesy: NoGAP)

pottery. In addition to these, isolated sherds of the Post-Urban Harappan habitation and is characterised
Sorath Harappan pottery were also found in the up- by a group of the Sorath Harappan pottery resembling
per layers of this phase. Phase III is remarkable for the Rangpur IIC and Rojdi C pottery and by the absence
predominance of the Sorath Harappan pottery over of Classical/Sindhi Harappan artefacts in the deposit.
the Classical Harappan and a general disorganisation The material remains unearthed from the site include
of construction activities at the site. Phase IV is the blades, cores, grinding stones, polishers, skin rubbers,

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Figure 11 Copper objects from Bagasra (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 12 Stone beads from Bagasra (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 13 Shell workshop, Bagasra (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

weights, beads and drill bits of various stones; copper N, 69° 47' 00" E) located on the northeastern corner
objects, namely chisels, knives (Figure 11), bangles, of the Pascham Beyt island in the Bhuj taluk of the
beads (Figure 12); shell objects such as ladle, circlets, Kachchh district was excavated under Shubra Praman-
beads, bangles, inlay pieces, balls; steatite beads, seals; ik of the ASI during 2003-04 to 2005-06. The roughly
faience bangles and beads; bones and bone points, rectangular-shaped settlement covers an area of 410
scrapers; otoliths; clay objects, namely sealings, balls, m × 350 m with an average deposit of 7 m. Structures
clay lumps with reed impressions, and varieties of ter- made of mud brick and stone were observed contin-
racotta objects like animal figurines, toy-cart frames uously from the Urban Harappan to the Post-Urban
and wheels with projected hubs, spindle whorls, tops, Harappan levels. The excavations also unearthed a
pottery, pottery rings, pottery discs, triangular cakes, fortified city with gateways, a middle town and two
bangles, beads, pendants, ear-studs and inlay pieces. stadiums. The pottery recovered from the excavation
The site provided the clear evidence for shell work- includes Reserved Slip Ware, Cream Slipped Ware,
ing (Figure 13), stone bead manufacturing, faience Grey Ware, Incised Red Ware and plain and painted
making and copper working (IAR 1995-96, 1996-97, Red Ware. Jar, dish-on-stand, vase, handi, dish, basin
1997-98, 1999-00; Sonawane et al. 2003: 21-50; Bhan and goblet are the main vessel forms. Shell bangles
et al. 2004: 153-158; Chase et al. 2014: 63-78). and inlay pieces, terracotta objects like animal figu-
rines, balls, hopscotch, blades of semi-precious stones,
Juni Kuran copper objects like the arrowheads, wire and fish hook
The Harappan settlement at Juni Kuran (23° 27' 00" were also recovered. Burials were also unearthed from

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

the site (Pramanik 2004: 45-67). nature and the thickness of deposit varies from 2.5 m
to 1.8 m. The thickness of the Phase IIB varies from
Bokhira 2.0 m to 3.5 m. The average thickness of Period III
Excavations at Bokhira (21° 39' 20" N, 69° 36' 10" (Post-Urban Harappan) varies from 40 cm to 100 cm.
E) in the Porbandar district by Marine Archaeology Period IV (Early Historic) has a deposit of 1.5 m and
Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa in a large number of pits measuring 2 m deep dug during
2005 revealed a protohistoric settlement dating back this time disturbed the Harappan level. Period IV is
to the mid-3rd millennium BC. Four trenches laid marked by a flimsy medieval deposit of 20 cm. Ar-
in the agricultural land located on the western side chitectural elements recovered from the site include
of the Porbandar creek revealed a habitation deposit fortification walls and residential structures. Although
of 50 cm thick. A large quantity of pottery, animal stone was widely used as the building material, mud-
bones and other antiquities recovered from the site is brick constructions are also present in the site. The
akin to the material remains of Rojdi and Rangpur. ceramics from the Harappan levels include Black-
One of the trenches revealed a rubble structure. The and-Red Ware, Anarta pottery and other Harappan
main pottery types are Red Ware, Buff Ware and Grey pottery types. Antiquities from the site include beads
Ware. Major shapes are bowls, jars, lids, basins and of steatite, faience, semiprecious stones, terracotta,
pots. Paintings on the potsherds are roundels, wavy shell and gold, steatite and terracotta seals, sealings,
lines, cross lines and thick bands. Other antiquities terracotta cakes, dices, gamesman, amulets, polishers,
from the site include stone tools, terracotta beads, clay drill bits, roughouts, bangles of shell, copper and ter-
balls, sling balls and a copper ring (Gaur et al. 2006: racotta and weights. Remains of wild and domestic
33-39). animals and plants were also recovered from the site
(Kharakwal et al. 2005: 115-123, 2007: 21-46, 2008:
Kanmer 5-23, 2009: 147-164, 2012; Agrawal et al. 2010: 1-2).
During 2005-06 to 2008-09 and 2013-14 to 2014-15,
JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur, Gujarat State Khirsara
Department of Archaeology and Research Institute Khirsara (Gadhwalivadi) (23° 50' 00" N, 69° 05' 00"
for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan jointly exca- E) is a small village situated at a distance of about 7
vated the fortified Harappan settlement at Kanmer km south of Ravapar on the Bhuj - Narayan Sarovar
(23° 23' 00" N, 70° 52' 00" E) locally known as Bakar State Highway and 5 km north of Netra in the dis-
Kot situated 35 km east of Rapar in the Kachchh dis- trict Kachchh, Gujarat. The archaeological site is
trict. The fortified site measuring 115 m × 155 m × 10 situated 2 km east of the village and is bordered by
m revealed fivefold cultural sequence namely KMR-I two seasonal streams on the northern and southern
- Pre-Urban Harappan (2888 - 2623 BC), KMR-II - sides which drain into the river Khari flowing at a dis-
Urban Harappan (IIa: 2130 - 1785 BC and IIb: 2470 tance of around 400 m away. The fortified settlement
- 2149 BC), KMR-III - Post-Urban Harappan, KMR- measures 310 m × 230 m. The excavations by the ASI
IV - Early Historic and KMR V - Medieval. Period during 2009 - 2013 has yielded a rich cultural deposit
I (Pre-fortification level) revealed a 40 cm deposit belonging to the Urban Harappan period. The evi-
and Period II (Urban Harappan) is divided into two dence from the site shows five structural phases and
phases based on the changes in ceramics and a 10 cm damages caused by flood in successive phases (Nath
thick layer of whitish material. Phase IIa is ashy in et al. 2012: 122-132). The site revealed evidence of

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 14 Pottery kiln, Khirsara (Courtesy: J. Nath and R.N. Kumaran)

residential structures, factory area, ware-house, kilns a few Classical Harappan ceramics. Stone weights,
(Figure 14) and well. Noteworthy findings from the beads, terracotta beads, spindle whorls, pottery discs,
site are steatite seals, sealings, shell bangles, gold beads pottery rings and stone blades were unearthed from
(Figure 15), stone beads and drill bits. In 1978-79, the the site. It has yielded structural evidences in the form
Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat of a residential complex (Shirvalkar and Rawat 2012:
discovered a seal bearing Harappan characters from 182-201, 2012-13: 70-77; Shirvalkar 2012-13: 55-68).
the site (IAR 1978-79; Jam 2010; Nath et al. 2015:
272-282). Ranod
Vaharvo Timho in the Ranod (23° 33' 17.05" N; 71°
Kotada Bhadli 48' 12.01" E) village is large oblong sand dune by
Kotada Bhadli (23° 20' 00" N, 69° 25' 00" E) is locat- the side of a very large inter-dunal depression on its
ed in the Nakhatrana taluka of the Kachchh district northeast. There are three sand dunes and Vaharvo
in Gujarat. It was first discovered by J.P. Joshi (IAR Timbo is the largest and richest among these in terms
1965-66). The site measuring approximately 1.5 of artefacts exposed on the surface. A few potsherds
hectares is intact and is marked by fortification walls found in the surface collection were un-diagnostic
on all sides. This site was subjected to excavation for and non-descript. Although too fragmentary, they
three seasons, i.e. from 2010-11 to 2012-13 by Deccan are closer to the Anarta pottery of North Gujarat. Be-
College, Post Graduate and Research Institute and sides, a number of animal skeletal remains especially
Gujarat State Department of Archaeology, Gandhi- long bones and horn-cores of wild bovids and cervids
nagar. The site of Kotada Bhadli has yielded evidences were found at the site. Many of the bones showed
of the Sorath Harappan, Late Sorath Harappan and silicification suggesting the substantial antiquity. Dur-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 15 Gold beads from Khirsara (Courtesy: J. Nath and R.N. Kumaran)

ing 2011-12, under the direction of Ajithprasad of the Kaj


Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and Marco The village Kaj is located about 10 km east of the
Madella of CSIC, Barcelona, Spain, carried out an ex- Kodinar town on the Dwarka Bhavnagar highway.
cavation at the site. The excavation revealed artefacts The ancient mound locally known as Juna Kaj is
of the Mesolithic period and an Early Harappan child situated further 2-3 km east of the village. Only an
burial. Pre-Urban Harappan Sindh type ceramics were area of 100 m × 100 m remains undisturbed and the
used as burial goods (Mushrif-Tripathy et al. 2014: 45- rest of the site is an agricultural land very close to a
51). creek. A small-scale excavation at the site in 2011 by
the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa revealed

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Sorath Harappan and Late Sorath Harappan ceramics varieties of beads of stone, shell and terracotta; button
(Farooqui et al. 2013: 2631-47). seal, stone amulet; grinding stones; hammer stones;
lithic tools and associated debitage and large number
Navinal of copper tools were collected from the surface of the
Located in the forest land on the margins of Gulf site. Many structural parts of stone and indicators
of Kachchh in the Mundra taluka of the Kachchh of craft production (pottery production, stone tool
district, Navinal (22° 49' 17.5" N, 69° 35' 49.9" E) is a production (Figure 16), copper working and shell
site showing cultural remains of the Integration and working (Figure 17)) are visible at various parts of the
Localization eras of Indus Civilization. The site was site. A number of animal skeletal remains found at the
discovered in 1950s by P.P. Pandya of Department site show salt and calcium encrustation suggesting the
of Archaeology, Saurashtra. It was first reported by substantial antiquity. A large number of charred and
S.R. Rao in 1963 and was assigned to the Rangpur uncharred otoliths of variety of fishes and fish verte-
IIB phase of the Harappan culture of Gujarat. Later brae were also collected from the site. Huge quantities
in 2011, the site was explored by P. Ajithprasad of of complete and broken small shells (probably edible)
the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and in and lithic debitage are found scattered all over the
2012 by A.S. Gaur of National Institute of Oceanog- surface of partially disturbed site (Rajesh et al. 2015:
raphy. In 2013, the site was explored by a joint team 30-31).
from the University of Kerala, Kachchh University,
Albion College - USA, Gujarat State Archaeology Vejalka
Department and the Maharaja Sayajirao University Vejalka (22° 15' 05" N; 71° 51' 41" E) is a small
of Baroda to understand its archaeological potentials. Harappan site located in the Ranpur taluka of Botad
A long-term multidisciplinary international research district, Gujarat. The site was excavated in 2014-15
project entitled 'Archaeological Excavation at Navinal and 2015-16 by the Maharaja Sayajirao University of
in Mundra Taluka, District Kachchh and Exploration Baroda. The excavation at the site has revealed clear
in Kachchh District, Gujarat' has been launched with evidence of mud houses, Harappan and regional
the financial support from University of Kerala and Chalcolithic ceramics (Sorath Harappan, Late Sorath
the Archaeological Research and Conservation Pro- Harappan, Micaceous Red Ware and Lustrous Red
gram: India and Pakistan (ARCPIP). This project has Ware), semi-precious stone beads, some terracotta ob-
been launched with such objectives as to understand jects and animal bones. The site can be relatively dated
the level of integration which existed among the Re- between c. 2300 - 1600 BC (Krishnan, pers. comm.).
gional Chalcolithic Cultures and Classical Harappans
found at the site and to understand the economic Dhaneti
production and inter-regional interaction network Dhaneti (23° 15' 01" N; 69° 54' 47" E) is an Early
that existed during the Urban Harappan phase in Harappan Burial site located in the Bhuj taluka of the
Kachchh. Two trial trenches (1 m × 1 m) excavated Kachchh district, Gujarat. The site was excavated in
under the project at Navinal have revealed remains 2016-17 and 2017-18 by the Maharaja Sayajirao Uni-
of ceramic assemblage belonging to the Integration versity of Baroda. The burial site revealed some skel-
and Localization Eras (c. 2200 - 1600 BC). Animal etal remains and burial goods. The burial goods from
figurines, toy cart frames, hubbed wheels and other the site include vessels similar to Pre-Urban Harappan
terracotta objects; complete shells and shell objects; Sindh type ceramics, Reserved Slip Ware and shell

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 16 Stone tools from Navinal

Figure 17 Copper nodules from Navinal

Bangles. The site can be relatively dated between c. CLASSICAL HARAPPAN ENIGMA AND
3000 to 2600 BC (Ajithprasad, pers. comm.). REGIONAL CHALCOLITHIC TRADITIONS

As most of the reported Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat


had elements of the Harappan culture, without any
doubt or second thought, all of them were labelled

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

under the same and until the first half of 1980s. sites in south Gujarat along with the Post-Urban
Chalcolithic settlements of Gujarat were synonymous Harappan pottery (IAR 1961-62, 1966-67; Mehta and
with the Harappan culture with very few exceptions. Chaudhary 1971). Joshi (1972b: 122-126) noticed the
The distinctive features of the material culture of the variation of certain ceramics found associated with the
Chalcolithic site(s) in Gujarat in the early stage was Harappan pottery from Surkotada. Sankalia (1972:
observed by a few scholars like Vats (1937), Dik- 171-172) regarded the trends observed through the
shit (1950), Subbarao (1958), Nanavati (1962) and material remains at Rangpur and Somnath as region-
Wheeler (1959, 1966). Vats (1937) suggested that the al, ethnic and cultural forces which clearly differed
part he excavated at Rangpur in Saurashtra might cor- from the Harappan way of life. He also suggested that
respond to the Late period of the Indus Civilization changes in pottery shapes, techniques and decoration
or probably fall between that time and Cemetery H at cannot be indigenously evolved without some external
Harappa. Thus began the belief that Chalcolithic sites influence (Sankalia 1974: 381). Pandya (1983: 59-63)
in Saurashtra are Late Harappan (Possehl 2007: 303). based on the evidence of the Rangpur excavations by
In 1958, Subbarao categorized the excavated Chal- Dikshit (1950) and Rao (1963) argued that the local
colithic sites of Gujarat into three, viz. Kathiawad Chalcolithic communities may have preceded as well
Harappan (Lothal and Rangpur IIA), Late Kathiawad as co-existed with the Harappans. Allchin (1990: 30)
Harappan (Rangpur IIB, Somnath IA and IB and suggested that the local settlements with a distinctive
Lakhabawal I) and Post-Kathiawad Harappan (Rang- regional character were already established in Gujarat
pur IIC and III, Somnath II and Amra I). Though he even before the arrival of the Harappans and later in
did not given any explanation for this classification, time Post-Urban Harappan features blend with the
it can be viewed as a division based on the concept of re-emerging local cultural style.
geographical region and differences in artifacts. Sub- Possehl and Herman (1990) noticed significant
barao (1958: 132-133) also identified the typical re- variations from the Classical Harappan in the ma-
gional ceramic type known as the Prabhas Ware along terial culture of Rojdi and many sites in Saurashtra.
with the Harapppan ceramics at Somnath. Possehl and Herman (1990: 314) termed this regional
Wheeler (1959: 38) identified the distinctive char- manifestation of the Harappan urban phase as Sorath
acter of the Chalcolithic sites in Kathiawar, and he Harappan, which is stylistically different from the
called them as a sub-Indus or a provisional variant of Sindhi Harappan (urban phase sites in Kachchh, Sind
the Indus Civilization. Nanavati (1962) suggested the and Punjab) and clearly a part of the Harappan larger
possibility of Lothal being a regional variation of the cultural whole. Allchin and Allchin (1997: 160-161)
Harappan culture in Gujarat, which may have dissoci- suggested the term Local Harappan instead of Sorath
ated from the parental one at an early stage and took Harappan to this regional manifestation. Shinde
a course of development. Rao (1963) suggested the (1992a, 1992b) identified a new regional Chalcolithic
probable existence of an indigenous Micaceous Red assemblage at the lowest levels of Padri and termed
pottery-using Chalcolithic community at Lothal prior it as Padri Ware/Padri Culture. The re-analysis of
to the Harappan occupation. Wheeler (1966: 87) also ceramics from Prabhas Patan (Dhavalikar and Possehl
used the term Saurashtrian Indus to denote a late and 1992) in Saurashtra and the exploration of Janan in
the developing branch of the Indus civilization. Kachchh also revealed the evidence for the existence
The ceramics similar to those of the Jorwe and of a regional Chalcolithic population well represented
Malwa culture were recovered from a few excavated by the ceramic assemblage named as the Pre-Prabhas.

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

The excavations and explorations in various parts of and Ajithprasad 2008: 1-9, 2009: 1-9) and Kanmer
north Gujarat by the Maharaja Sayajirao University (Kharakwal et al. 2012) in Kachchh and Bagasra in
of Baroda clearly established the evidence of another Saurashtra (Sonawane et al. 2003; Bhan et al. 2004).
regional Chalcolithic population termed as the Anar- The non-Harappan ceramic tradition from all the pe-
ta (Ajithprasad and Sonawane 1993; Sonawane and riods (IA, IB and IC) of Surkotada is analogous with
Ajithprasad 1994). The sites in North Gujarat and Anarta pottery. This tradition can be dated between
Saurashtra also revealed ceramics similar to those from 3900 - 1700 BC (Rajesh 2011; Rajesh et al. 2013b:
Early Harappan levels at Amri, Nal, Kot Diji, Balakot 10-45).
and Damb Sadaat (Hegde et al. 1988; Majumdar and
Sonawane 1996-1997). Brief descriptions of various Padri Ware/Padri Culture
Chalcolithic cultures/traditions in Gujarat are given Another Chalcolithic ceramic showing non-Harap-
in following pragraphs. pan features is the Padri Ware reported from Padri
Gohil Ni in the Talaja taluka of the Bhavnagar district
Anarta Tradition (Shinde 1992a, 1992b, 1998; Shinde and Kar 1992;
The Anarta Assemblage is a Regional Chalcolithic Paul et al. 1997; Paul and Shinde 1998-99; Joglekar
tradition first reported as a distinctive ceramic group 1996-97; Bhagat 2001; Shirvalkar 2008). At Padri,
from North Gujarat. Its regional trait was first recog- this hand/slow-wheel-made coarse ceramic having
nized in 1985 during the excavations at Nagwada in a thick red slip with black paintings occurs during
the Surendrnagar district where the regional ceramics Pre-Urban Harappan and Urban Harappan periods
were found associated with Urban Harappan ele- (3600 - 2000 BC). The important vessel shapes are
ments. However, its independent nature as a Pre-Ur- bowls with straight/incurved/convex sides, stud-han-
ban Harappan ceramic tradition of North Gujarat was dle bowls, basins, globular pots, dish-on-stands and
established only after the excavations at Loteshwar perforated jars (Shinde 1992a, 1998; Shinde and
in the Mehsana district in 1991-92 (Ajithprasad and Kar 1992; Sonawane and Ajithprasad 1994). Other
Sonawane 1993; Sonawane and Ajithprasad 1994). ceramic types occurring in the Pre-Urban Harappan
It also found associated with Pre-Urban Harappan level at Padri are Coarse Red/Grey Ware, White
Burial pottery (Amri-Nal type) at sites like Moti Pipli Painted Ware, Bichrome Ware, Plain Handmade
and Datrana and with Pre-Prabhas pottery at Datra- Ware and Red Painted Ware (Figures 23 - 27) (Shinde
na. This pottery tradition is represented by Gritty 1992a, 1998). A resemblance of the Padri ware with
Red Ware, Fine Red Ware, Burnished Red Ware and the ceramics from North Gujarat (Anarta) (Shinde
Burnished Grey/Black wares. The vessels are hand/ 1992b; Shinde and Kar 1992; Sonawane and Ajith-
slow-wheel made, and the forms include straight or prasad 1994) and Pre-Urban Harappan pottery from
convex sided bowls with incurved rims, basins with Dholavira (Bicrhome ware) (Shinde 1998) has been
thick flaring rim, pots/jars with flaring rim, constrict- mentioned. It is also reported from 12 other explored
ed neck and bulbous body (Figures 18 - 22). They are sites in the lower Shetrunji river basin in the Bhavna-
treated with a red slip with paintings in red, black and gar district along with Harappan ceramics (Paul et al.
white (Ajithprasad and Sonawane 1993; Sonawane 1997; Shirvalkar 2008).
and Ajithprasad 1994; Ajithprasad 2002). Apart from
many sites in North Gujarat, it is also found associat- Pre-Prabhas Assemblage
ed with Urban Harappan artifacts at Shikarpur (Bhan Pre-Prabhas pottery is the non-Harappan assemblage

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 18 Anarta pottery from Loteshwar (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 19 Anarta pottery from Loteshwar (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

first unearthed in 1956-57 excavation at Prabhas 57). It is characterised by the handmade pottery
Patan (Somnath) in the Junagadh district. Period I consisting of Red Ware, Incised Red Ware, Black-and-
at Prabhas Patan dated to 3000 - 2800 BC was char- Red Ware and Grey Ware (Figures 28 and 29). The
acterised by the occurrence of corrugated or broadly forms represented are wide-mouthed jars, deep or
incised ware along with a blade industry of agate shallow basins, flat bottomed basin with flaring sides
and chalcedony with crested ridges (IAR 1956-57; and incised rims (IAR 1971-72). Though Pre-Prabhas
Subbarao 1958; Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992) and level was identified during the re-excavations in 1970s,
suggested similarities with Rangpur IIB (IAR 1956- the details of this ceramic type were published only in

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 20 Anarta pottery from Loteshwar (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 21 Anarta pottery from Loteshwar (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 22 Anarta pottery from Loteshwar (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

1992 (Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992). The excavations punch (Ajithprasad 2002). Pre-Prabhas pottery was
at Datrana in the Banaskantha district of North Guja- also reported from Janan in the Kachchh district
rat also revealed Pre-Prabhas pottery (Figures 30 - 32) (Figures 33 and 34). During the excavation of 1957-
in association with Anarta pottery, Pre-Urban Hara- 58 at Rojdi, crude corrugated ware of the type found
ppan Burial pottery, crested ridge blades and cores of in Period IA at Somnath was noticed (IAR 1957-
chalcedony, agate, jasper and chert and copper/bronze 58). The coarse corrugated ware of the Rojdi-Prabhas

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 23 Ceramics from Padri (after Shirvalkar 2008)

Patan type was also reported from Old Alatala, Ma- BC (Possehl 1994b; Rajesh et al. 2013a: 181-209).
hadevayo, Modhera, Ranigam, Makavana, Khanderio, The 14C dates from Datrana is in the range of 3353
Jivani, Lakhan Timbo, Tarana, Gadhada I, Gadhada - 3095 BC. No chronometric date is available from
III and Khakhara Bela I (IAR 1953-54, 1956-57, Janan. Based on the chronometric dates from Datrana
1960-61). But the archaeological data from the later and Prabhas Patan, the relative dates for the ceramics
excavations at Rojdi (Possehl and Raval 1989) and the of the Anarta Tradition and the Pre-Urban Harappan
re-explorations at above-mentioned sites clearly show Sindh type ceramics, the Pre-Prabhas Assemblage at
that the crude corrugated ware from these sites belong Datrana can be roughly dated between c. 3300 - 2600
to the Sorath Harappan culture of the Urban Hara- BC (Rajesh et al. 2013a: 181-209).
ppan Phase. Wheel making is another feature of the
Sorath Harappan coarse corrugated ware. The exact Early Harappan Burial Pottery/
time-period of the origin of the Pre-Prabhas Assem- Pre Urban Harappan Sindh Related Pottery
blage in Gujarat is not clear and the two recalibrated This kind of pottery was first reported during the
14
C dates (Reimer et al. 2009) from Prabhas Patan/ excavations at Nagwada in 1985 (Ajithprasad 2002:
Somnath for this phase is in the range of 3122 - 2548 144). Both inhumation and symbolic burials were

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Figure 24 Ceramics from Padri (after Shirvalkar 2008)

Figure 25 Ceramics from Padri (after Shirvalkar 2008)

noticed in Period IA of the site. Red Ware, Pinkish beaker shaped vases with sides converging into a nar-
Buff Ware and Grey Ware represented the symbolic row opening, beakers with slightly flaring rim, dish-
burials. The vessels were made of well-elutriated clay on-stand with upturned rim, dish with no carination
and the ceramics were slipped and painted (Majum- and shallow bowls (Figure 35) (Ajithprasad 2002:
dar and Sonawane 1996-1997: 16). The major shapes 145). The bulbous pot is painted at the rim with a
in this group are large bulbous pot with narrow flat thick dark band and at the shoulder with horizontal
base, a short and straight neck and flat rim, flasks or and wavy lines. Pipal leaf motif on one of the large

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Figure 26 Ceramics from Padri (after Shirvalkar 2008)

Figure 27 Ceramics from Padri (after Shirvalkar 2008)

pots is an important feature. These burial ceramics Santhli, Datrana and Moti Pipli in North Gujarat also
resemble the vessels recovered from the Pre-Urban revealed these ceramics along with Anarta pottery.
Harappan levels at Kot Diji, Amri, Damb Bhuti, Nal At Datrana, in the upper levels, it was also found
and Balakot (Hegde et al. 1988: 58; Ajithprasad 2002: associated with Pre-Prabhas assemblage. Ajithprasad
145). Such ceramics are also present in the cemetery (2008a: 41, 2010) also reported these ceramics from
at Surkotada (Figure 36) in Kachchh ( Joshi 1990; three sites (Warodra, Shapur and Lohij) in Saurashtra.
Possehl 1997: 81-87). The subsequent excavations at Dhavalikar (Dhavalikar 1984; IAR 1971-72) report-

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Figure 28 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Somnath (after Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992)

Figure 29 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Somnath (after Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992)

ed the presence of Harappan-like ceramics in the the presence of these ceramics. The pottery from
Pre-Prabhas level at Prabhas patan. Based on the finds these sites are hand/slow wheel-made and are found
from Warodra, Shapur and Lohij, Ajithprasad (2008a: associated with Reserved Slip Ware. The relative
41) suggests that the Harappan-like ceramics reported time-period assigned to the burial ceramic is the be-
from the Pre-Prabhas level at Prabhan Patan may be ginning of the third millennium BC (Majumdar and
the Early Harappan Sind-related pottery. Burial sites Sonawane 1996-1997: 20; Ajithprasad 2002: 147).
such as Dhaneti and Janan in Kachchh also revealed Majumdar (1999: 194) based on the evidence from

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Figure 30 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Datrana IV (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 31 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Datrana IV (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

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Figure 32 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Datrana IV (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Nagwada, Moti Pipli, Datrana and Surkotada suggest reported from Rangpur (Dikshit 1950: 18-19). At
a time bracket of 3000 BC to 2550 BC for the spread Rangpur, these ceramics were reported from all the
of Pre-Urban Harappan Sindh-related pottery and its periods and the major shapes include bowl, jar and
authors to Kachchh and North Gujarat. dish and some of the bowls were painted using a white
colour (Rao 1963). The Black-and-Red Ware ceram-
Black-and-Red Ware ics are found associated with Micaceous Red Ware
In India, the Black-and-Red Ware ceramics are report- (Rao 1985), Classical Harappan (Rao 1985), Prabhas
ed from Chalcolithic, Megalithic and Early Historic Ware (Rao 1985), Sorath Harappan (Sen 2009), Early
contexts (Dey 2003: 131-136). According to many Harappan Burial/Pre Urban Harappan Sindh-related
scholars, the dual colour in the ceramic is the result pottery (Majumdar 1999), Pre-Prabhas Assemblage
of inverted firing technique (Wheeler 1947; Sharma (Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992), Anarta Tradition
1960; Subbarao 1961; Rao 1963). Black-and-Red (Ajithprasad and Sonawane 1994; Ajithprasad 2002),
Ware ceramics are reported from most of the Chal- Lustrous Red Ware (Rao 1963; Rissman and Chital-
colithic sites in Gujarat (Figure 37), and it was first wala 1990), Malwa Ware (Mehta and Chaudhary

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Figure 33 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Janan

Figure 34 Pre-Prabhas pottery from Janan

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Figure 35 Pre-Urban Harappan Sindh-Type pottery (Burial Pottery) from Moti Pipli (after Majumdar 1999)

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Figure 36 Pre-Urban Harappan Sindh-Type pottery from Surkotada (after Joshi 1990)

1971) and Jorwe Ware (IAR 1961-62). There were Reserved Slip Ware
certain similarities and dissimilarities in the shape and Reserved Slip Ware was first reported during the ex-
fabric of Black-and-Red Ware in different periods and cavation of Mohenjodaro and the term was used by
cultures/traditions. In Chalcolithic Gujarat, chrono- the excavators to describe a kind of low-fired ceramics
logically it can be roughly placed between 3900 - 1000 (Mackay 1938: 184). The term reserved slip refers to a
BC (Rajesh et al. 2016). particular kind of surface treatment given to the pre-
fired ceramics by applying two slip layers to the surface

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Figure 37 Black-and-Red Ware from Nagwada (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

of the vessel and later by skillfully removing the upper sherds are reported from both Pre-Urban Harappan
slip through gently combing the surface thus leaving and Urban Harappan sites in Gujarat and its main
two contrasting colours, in either a straight or a wavy concentration is in the Kachchh region (Figure 38).
line pattern. There are different kinds of this ceramics; In Gujarat, it can be dated between 3900 - 1900 BC.
“Glazed” Reserved Slip Ware, “Ungalzed” Reserved At this stage of research, it is very difficult to pinpoint
Slip Ware and Periano Reserve Ware (Shinde et al. the authors of this ware.
2008: 85). Glazed Reserved Slip Ware was character-
ized by a well-defined, glossy and hard surface layer, Micaceous Red Ware
whereas the surface of Unglazed Reserved Slip Ware is S.R. Rao in 1963 described the possible existence of
matt and soft (Krishnan et al. 2005: 692). Periano Re- an indigenous Micaceous Red pottery-using Chal-
serve Ware which is totally different from the Glazed colithic population at Lothal prior to the Harappan
and Unglazed Reserved Slip Ware was first identified occupation (Rao 1963; Ajithprasad 2002). In spite of
at Periano Ghundai by Fairservis and it is recovered several efforts, he has not found a stratum exclusively
from many sites in the Greater Indus Region includ- of Micaceous Red Ware (Rao 1985). This pottery type
ing Kalibangan, Girawad and Farmana. The surface was found to increase in quantity in the lower levels of
treatment of this ware includes the application of Lothal A but it was always associated with Harappan
sandy clay coating or a slip on the surface of the leath- ceramics (IAR 1961-62). In fabric, surface treatment,
er hard vessel to give the appearance of a very smooth forms and modelling, this pottery shows non-Hara-
exterior surface over which broad wavy and horizontal ppan features (Rao 1963; Dhavalikar and Possehl
parallel grooves in low relief are executed (Shinde et 1992; Herman and Krishnan 1994; Sonawane and
al. 2008: 85). Glazed and Ungalzed Reserved Slip Ajithprasad 1994). This hand/mould-made pottery

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Figure 38 Reserved Slip Ware from Kanmer (Courtesy: Kharakwal et al. 2012)

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Figure 39 Micaceous Red Ware from Lothal (after Rao 1985)

has a thick pink to light brown/grey glossy slip with around the Gulf of Khambhat. The later explorations
smooth surface and appears as dusted with tiny mica (Dimri 1998-99; Dimri 1999, 2005; Krishnan and
particles. The vessel forms represented are convex-sid- Dimri 2005) in the Bhogava, Sukha Bhadar and Lilka
ed bowl with or with stud handle, shallow dish-basin, river basins also provided the supporting evidence in
globular jar, lamp, bottle and perforated jar (Figure the form of similar pottery. It is also reported in small
39). Similar pottery was also reported from Rangpur quantities from excavated Chalcolithic sites like Roj-
(Rao 1963). The excavations at Kanewal (Mehta et al. di, Nageshwar and Bagasra in Saurashtra, Desalpur in
1980) and Vagad (Sonawane and Mehta 1985) in the Kachchh and Ratanpura in North Gujarat (Herman
Bhal region strengthened the theory of the existence and Krishnan 1994; Dimri 1999). Chronologically
of Micaceous Red ware-using community in the area it can be placed between 2600 BC (Lothal A Phase I

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Figure 40 Black Slipped Jars from Bagasra (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

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Figure 41 Copper objects from Shikarpur (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Figure 42 Seals from Dholavira (Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India)

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 43 Sealings from Kanmer (after Kharakwal et al. 2012)

Figure 44 Rohri chert blades from Shikarpur (Courtesy: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

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Figure 45 Stone weights from Dholavira (Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India)

Figure 46 Terracotta triangular cakes from Dholavira (Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India)

and Rojdi A) to 1600 BC (Vagad IB) (Rajesh 2011). Saurashtra, Nagwada and Zekhda in North Gujarat
and these sites have Classical Harappan features apart
Classical Harappan from the artefacts of regional Chalcolithic cultures/
Classical Harappan sites are mainly concentrated in traditions (Bhan 1994: 79). Possehl (1992) called the
the Kachchh region and represented by the excavated Classical Harappan settlements as Sindhi Harappan.
settlements of Dholavira, Desalpur, Surkotada, Pa- According to Sen (2009: 1), “the term 'Sindhi Hara-
bumath, Kanmer, Juni Kuran, Shikarpur and Khiras- ppan' used by Possehl, although originally meant to
ara, Lothal, Rangpur IIA, Nageswar and Bagasra in refer characteristic cultural traits generally found asso-

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 47 Sorath Harappan ceramics from Jaidak (after Sen 2009)

ciated with the urban sites of the Harappan culture in blades of Rohri chert (Figure 44), stone weights (Fig-
the entire Indus valley, by default refers only to that of ure 45), and terracotta triangular cakes (Figure 46)
the Sindh region because the word Sindh/Sindhi has (Sonawane 2000: 141). Based on absolute and relative
regional/ethnic connotations. The urban Harappan chronology, Classical Harappan sites can be dated
features are found not only in the Indus valley proper between 2600 - 1900 BC (Rajesh 2011).
but also in the adjoining regions in the east, south and
west”. Many of the Classical Harappan sites in Gujarat Sorath Harappan
were associated with the manufacture of specialized The regional manifestation of the Urban Harappan
items of semi-precious stone, steatite, faience, shell phase in Saurashtra is popularly known as Sorath
and copper (Sonawane 2000: 141). The size of the Harappan period (Possehl and Herman 1990). Ra-
sites varies from 60 hectares to less than 0.5 hectare. diocarbon dates from Rojdi A and B showed that all
A number of Classical Harappan settlements are the sites in Saurashtra having the pottery similar to
fortified and the bipartite division is also present in these two phases should be dated to the Urban Phase
some of them. Classical Harappan remains from the Harappan and not to the Post-Urban Phase (Possehl
sites of Gujarat include goblets, beakers, black slipped 1992: 129). Ceramics and other tools associated with
jars (Figure 40), S-profile jar, copper tools (Figure 41), the sites of Rojdi A and B type are quite different in
architecture with standardized sun-dried/kiln-baked detail from those of the Urban-Phase Harappans in
bricks and dressed stone, seals with script and figures Kachchh and Sindh. In the Sorath Harappan, the ves-
and sealings (Figures 42 and 43), long parallel chert sel shapes were much alike the Harappans in the Sindh

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Figure 48 Sorath Harappan ceramics from Jaidak (after Sen 2009)

region. The classic black on red painting style is absent estimated to 5.3 hectares (Possehl 1980) and these set-
in them. Though there are no seals and little writing, tlements are devoid of elaborate architecture showing
there are weights and measures, etched carnelian beads a proper plan and layout (Ajithprasad 2002: 85). Like
and copper implements of the Harappan type (Possehl the Classical Harapan settlements, some of the Sorath
1992: 129). Apart from Saurashtra, Sorath Harappan Harappan settlements are fortified and the bipartite
artefacts are recovered from sites in Kachchh and division is also present in some of them (Ajithprasad
North Gujarat. The average size of these settlements is 2008a: 83). According to Ajithprasad (2008a), the

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 49 Sorath Harappan ceramics from Jaidak (after Sen 2009)

thickness of Sorath Harappan fortification walls are 52) and the Rangpur III as Lustrous Red Ware sites
much lesser in comparison to the Classical Harappans (c.f. Varma and Menon 1999: 9; Possehl 1999). Based
and curvilinear and polygonal structures seem to be on the absolute dates from Rojdi, the Sorath Harap-
not the norm in Classical Urban Harappan sites. Till pan can be placed between 2600 - 1700 BC. However,
the beginning of 1990s, Sorath Harappan sites were the radiocarbon dates from Padri suggest an earlier
considered as Late Harappan or Post-Urban Harap- date of 3600 BC to the Sorath Harappan.
pan, and they were classified to Period IIB-C or III of
the Rangpur Sequence. Possehl divided the Rangpur Prabhas Assemblage
IIB sites as Sorath Harappan (Figures 47 - 49), the Period II at Prabhas Patan was marked by a different
Rangpur IIC as Late Sorath Harappan (Figures 50 - set of ceramics known as the Prabhas Ware and this

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Figure 50 Late Sorath Harappan ceramics from Jaidak (after Sen 2009)

was unearthed during the excavation in 1956 (Sub- grey slip. It is decorated with faint violet or purple
barao 1958; Nanavati et al. 1971; Dhavalikar and Pos- pigments and the decorative patterns, generally ge-
sehl 1992).The characteristic features of the Prabhas ometric forms like horizontal and vertical lines, dots
Ware is hemispherical bowls with slightly incurved and other forms were executed in horizontal panels or
and bevelled rim (Figure 53) and medium size jars/ registers at the rim or at the shoulder (Nanavati et al.
pots with an everted short rim, incipient neck, wide 1971). This assemblage was associated with Black-and-
shoulder and globular body (Ajithprasad 2002: 134). Red Ware, Sorath Harappan and Classical Harappan
It is made of fine clay and treated with a thin greenish pottery. Remains of stone structures, copper imple-

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 51 Late Sorath Harappan ceramics from Jaidak (after Sen 2009)

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 52 Late Sorath Harappan ceramics from Jaidak (after Sen 2009)

ments including a celt, steatite and faience beads, and Lustrous Red Ware
a carved stone seal bearing images of several stylized The Lustrous Res Ware ceramics are first reported dur-
deer indicate the Harappan influence (Ajithprasad ing the excavations at Rangpur (Dikshit 1950: 3-55;
2002: 134). Prabhas pottery has a wide distribution Rao 1963). At this site, this ceramic type made its first
in Saurashtra, and it was reported from the sites like appearance in Period IIC in a limited quantity and Pe-
Lothal, Rojdi, Amra and Lakhabaval. This assemblage riod III is noted for its exuberance (Rao 1963). These
is dated between 2200 BC to 1700 BC (Dhavalikar ceramics were later reported from many explored and
and Possehl 1992: 72). excavated sites in Saurashtra, Kachchh, North Gujarat
and South Gujarat. Generally, the fabric of Lustrous
Red Ware is coarse with the rare occurrence of a fine

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 53 Prabhas Ware from Somnath (after Nanavati et al. 1971)

variety (Rao 1963). These ceramics are treated with 1994: 82). Based on the absolute and relative chronol-
bright slip and are highly burnished, which results in a ogy, this ceramic group can be placed between 1900 -
very shiny surface. The colour of these ceramics ranges 1300 BC (Bhan 1994: 82; Sonawane 2002: 168).
from tan, orange, bright red and purple (Rissman and
Chitalwala 1990). The major shapes in this ceramics Malwa Ware
are bowl, basin, dish, pot/jar and dish-on-stand (Fig- Malwa culture was spread over a large part of central
ure 54). In many sites, it is associated with painted India in general, and in Malwa, the western part of
Black-and-Red Ware and Coarse Red Ware (Bhan Madhya Pradesh in particular (Ansari and Dhavalikar

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 54 Lustrous Red Ware from Rangpur (after Rao 1963)

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

Figure 55 Malwa Ware (after Agrawal and Kharakwal 2003)

1971: 345). More than hundred sites of this culture Navdatoli suggest a period of 1700 - 1450 BC for the
were located in the valleys of Chambal, Narmada and duration of the Malwa culture.
Betwa and its tributaries (Misra 2001: 515). Some
ceramics showing affinity to the Malwa culture are Jorwe Ware
unearthed from Jokha and Dhatva in South Gujarat The Jorwe culture is represented at more than 200
and these sites are relatively dated to the 15th - 10th sites from the Tapi valley in the north to the Bhima
centuries BC. A few ceramics from Jokha showed valley in the south of western Maharashtra (Misra
resemblance to the Malwa Ware reported from Nav- 2001: 517; Dhavalikar 1979: 251, 1984: 63-80). The
datoli (Figure 55) (Mehta and Chaudhary 1971: 14). Jorwe culture is divided into two phases, the early Jor-
At Jokha, Malwa Ware was associated with Jorwe we (1500 - 1200 BC) and the late Jorwe (1200 - 900
Ware, Painted Red Ware, Buff Ware, Black-and- BC) based on structures, subsistence economy and
Red Ware and Painted Red Ware with black bands materials used. As per Dhavalikar (1979: 251), the
on white background. At Dhatva, Malwa Ware was Jorwe people had contacts with the Late Harappans
associated with Post-Urban Harappan artifacts and and the Lustrous Red Ware users of Gujarat. At Jokha,
Black-and-Red Ware. A few sherds of the globular Period I (circa 1500 - 1000 BC) was marked by the
pots having flaring rim, medium fabric, cream colour occurrence of Jorwe Ware (Figure 56) (IAR 1966-67).
and black painting were recovered from the site. The From Nagal, microlithic tools associated with Black-
designs were mainly bands and wavy lines (Mehta and and-Red Ware and small fragments of Ochrous Red
Chaudhary 1975: 29-31). Some of the sherds have Ware similar to the ceramics from Jorwe were also
corrugations on their exterior (Mehta et al. 1975: 34). recovered (IAR 1961-62).
At Dhatwa, Malwa Ware was associated with Black-
on-Red Ware and Black-and-Red Ware (Mehta and
Chaudhary 1975: 31). The radiocarbon dates from

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Figure 56 Jorwe Ware (after Agrawal and Kharakwal 2003)

DATING IN GUJARAT two main categories, namely chronometric (radiocar-


bon and thermo-luminescence dating) and relative
Archaeologists working on the Harappan culture in (contextual and typological/seriation). Chronometric
Gujarat make use of an array of dating techniques dates are available for the sites like Dholavira (Bisht
similar to those used in other parts of the world. The 2000; IAR 1993-94), Surkotada ( Joshi 1990), Kan-
dating techniques used in Gujarat can be divided into mer (Kharakwal et al. 2011, 2012), Loteshwar (Patel

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

2008), Datrana (Garcia-Granero et al. 2017), Ratan- radiometric techniques. As the Chalcolithic studies in
pura (IAR 1984-85; Herman 1997), Nagwada (Hegde Gujarat become more problem-oriented in the recent
et al. 1988; Hegde et al. 1990b; Possehl 1994b), years, there is a growing tendency to collect a series of
Langhnaj (Sankalia 1965), Bagasra (Sonawane et al. samples from all occupational levels of every sites to
2003; Chase 2007, 2010), Kuntasi (Dhavalikar et al. get more accurate dates.
1996), Jaidak (Sen 2009), Bet Dwarka (Gaur et al.
2005), Nageshwar (Hegde et al. 1990a), Somnath Thermo-luminescence Dating
(Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992), Padri (Shinde and Though archaeologists of Gujarat normally operate
Kar 1992; Ajithprasad 2002), Rojdi (Possehl and within the radiocarbon method as the chronometric
Raval 1989), Oriyo Timbo (Rissman and Chitalwala dating system; the thermo-luminescence (TL) dating
1990), Babarkot (Possehl 1994a), Vagad (Sonawane is also used in sites like Langhnaj, the Mesolithic site
and Mehta 1985), Lothal (Rao 1979, 1985), Malvan having Chalcolithic affinity (Sankalia 1965; Clut-
(Allchin et al. 1995), Bokhira (Gaur et al. 2006; Gaur ton-Brock 1965), Bet Dwarka (Gaur et al. 2005) and
and Sundaresh 2013), Kaj (Farooqui et al. 2013), Bokhira (Gaur et al. 2006; Gaur and Sundaresh 2013),
Kanjetar (Farooqui et al. 2013), Khirsara (Nath 2012) the Post-Urban Harappan sites. Almost all samples
and Navinal (Rajesh et al. 2015). from Bet Dwarka provided accurate results except one
sample which exhibited a TL fading factor of more
Radiocarbon Dating than 20 % and created doubt upon the reliability of
As other parts of the world, the radiocarbon dating is the final age computed (Gaur et al. 2005). Similarly,
the backbone of Gujarat's Chalcolithic archaeology Bokhira (Gaur et al. 2006) also provided unreliable
with a limited number of dated sites. Among them, TL dates.
many dates have never been published, either by
excavators or by laboratories; hence it is difficult to Relative Dates
develop a full list. Sites like Loteshwar (Patel 2008; The majority of the reported sites are dated using
Sonawane and Ajithprasad 1994; Bhan 1994), Rojdi the relative dating techniques. The Rangpur phase
(Possehl and Raval 1989) and Kanmer (Kharakwal sequence (Rao 1963), Rojdi phase sequence (Possehl
et al. 2011, 2012) have comprehensive suites of dates and Raval 1989) and phase sequences of sites like
for individual stratigraphic sequences or for cultural Lothal (Rao 1979, 1985), Surkotada ( Joshi 1990),
periods. However, many sites have only one or two ra- Kuntasi (Dhavalikar et al. 1996), Amra (IAR 1955-
diocarbon dates and it prevents the assessment of the 56), Lakhabawal (IAR 1955-56), Nageshwar (Hegde
reliability of individual dates. As a result, it is difficult et al. 1990a) and Somnath (Nanavati et al. 1971; Dha-
to explain the occupational history of these sites au- valikar and Possehl 1992) in the Gujarat and Sindh
thentically. It also leads to unjustified assumptions of regions are commonly used to fix the approximate
continuity of equivalent site-use over many centuries chronology of the occupation of sites. For instance,
or millenniums (Bird and Frankel 1991). Calibration the Pre-Urban Harappan Sindh-Type pottery known
of radiocarbon determinations is also ignored for as Burial pottery recovered from certain sites in Guja-
some sites of Gujarat. According to Agraval and Yada- rat is comparable to those from the Pre-Urban Harap-
va (1995), the effect of calibration is important where pan levels of the sites like Kot Diji (Khan 1965), Amri
comparative rates of change are discussed and where (Casal 1964) and Balakot (Dales 1974) located in
radiocarbon dates used in combination with other modern Pakistan. The relatively dated sites altogether

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Figure 57 Probability plot of recalibrated radiocarbon dates from excavated sites in Gujarat

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

represent three phases of Chalcolithic culture in Guja- from the Sindh region and Saurashtra, and called the
rat, i.e. the period covering the time-period from 3950 Saurashtran Harappans as the Kathiawad Harappans
BC to 900 BC. Many of these excavated sites showed (Kathiawad Harappan, Late Kathiawad Harappan
evidences for the existence of a preceding Mesolithic and Post-Kathiawad Harappan). In the 1950s, most
culture and succeeding periods like Early Historic, of the excavated and explored artifacts from Gujarat
Medieval and Modern, sometimes with a perceived were typologically compared with those from the site
gap. of Somnath/Prabhas Patan.

Contextual Dating Rangpur Phase Sequence


The excavation strategy determines the contents of as- On the basis of architecture, flooding layers and
semblages and so inextricably links dating and expla- seriation of ceramics and other finds from Rangpur,
nation (Frankel 1988). In many excavated sites in Gu- Rao (1963) proposed a new relative dating technique
jarat, site's sequences are divided into chronological for Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat. The majority of
units with duration of thousands of years and it denies the Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat are relatively dated
the possibility of demonstrating significant variation based on these four-fold Rangpur phase sequence, i.e.
in site-use. In Gujarat, one major problem due to the RGP IIA (Harappa Culture: 2000 - 1500 BC), RGP
contextual dating is the poorly understood concept IIB (Late Harappa Culture: 1500 - 1100 BC), RGP
of continuity of site use. In many sites in North Guja- IIC (Transitional Phase of Harappa Culture: 1100 -
rat, the Chalcolithic culture follows the Mesolithic/ 1000 BC), and RGP III (Lustrous Red Ware Culture:
Microlithic culture without any visible break. In the 1000 - 800 BC) (Rao 1963). Through this sequence,
same way, the Urban Harappan period is followed by Rao established the presence of Harappan culture at
the Post-Urban Harappan Phase without a significant Rangpur which gradually evolved into a new region-
gap. Likewise, in many sites, sterile deposits of even 5 al culture characterized by the Lustrous Red Ware
cm in thickness differentiate Mesolithic and Chalco- (Rao 1963; Herman 1997). Though the Rao's dating
lithic cultures and excavators put them in chronologi- technique was criticised by many scholars (Possehl
cal frameworks based on their convenience. As a result 1980; Allchin and Allchin 1982; Sankalia 1974; Mis-
of this, it is very difficult to determine the processes ra 1965; Herman 1997), it still remains as the most
which lead to the culmination of different culture(s). popular relative dating technique. According to Her-
man (1997), the Rao's investigations for the first time
Typological Dating/Seriation provided the material evidence and framework of the
In Gujarat, Chalcolithic artifacts can be classified into transformation of the Harappan Culture down to
generally accepted technological and morphological the Post-Harappan times. Misra (1965) classified the
types as many similarities can be identified in excavat- Chalcolithic sequence at Rangpur into two. Period
ed and explored Chalcolithic assemblages. Based on IIA, which incorporated Rangpur IIA and IIB, was
the archaeological data from Lothal, Rangpur, Som- termed as Late Impoverished Harappan Settlement
nath, Amra, Lakhabawal, Vadnagar, Ahar, Maheshwar, and Period IIB which included Rangpur IIC and III
Navdatoli and Nevasa, a provisional relative sequence was termed as Lustrous Red Ware-related Post-Hara-
for protohistoric cultures of Western and Central In- ppan Settlement. But this classification scheme was
dia was suggested by Subbarao (1958). He also iden- not adopted by the scholars of Gujarat. Misra (1965)
tified the differences between the Harappan artifacts pointed out that the Rangpur phase sequence is not

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

completely vertical but also lateral; the sequence is Rojdi C are equitable to 2600 - 2200 BC, 2200 - 1900
primarily based on architecture followed by flooding BC and 1900 - 1600 BC respectively (Possehl and
layers and lastly on pottery and other finds; the ce- Raval 1989; Possehl and Herman 1990).
ramics of RGP IIA and IIB does not reveal clear dif-
ferences in wares, shapes or decorations but have dif- The proposed phase sequences however were used
ferences with RGP IIC and RGP III in fabrics, shapes, without much caution at times to interpret the cul-
rim profiles and decorations; the Rao's proposition of tural periods of certain explored sites. For instance,
the existence of Mature Harappan lithic technology at due to the similarities in the features of Pre-Urban
the site was based on a single blade fragment; and the Harappan Padri Ware which was recovered from the
division between RGP IIC and RGP III are problem- earliest levels of Padri and the Padri Ware affiliated
atic, though Lustrous Red Ware is ubiquitous in RGP to Rangpur IIB and IIC which were recovered from
IIC, only period III is characterized as Lustrous Red explorations of a few other sites were termed by the
Ware cultural deposit. Sankalia (1974) considered explorers as Pre-Urban Harappan sites (Paul et al.
the pre-structural layers in trench RGP-3 in Rangpur 1997). Similarly, the sites belonging to regional Chal-
IIA with Micaceous Red Ware, Buff Ware and Coarse colithic cultures/traditions like Anarta Tradition
Grey Ware as Period I: Pre-Harappan culture, the rest (based on Loteshwar/Nagwada), Padri Ware (based
of Rangpur IIA, IIB and IIC as Period II: Harappan on Padri), Pre-Prabhas and Prabhas Assemblage (based
culture and Rangpur III as Period III: Post-Harappan on Somnath), Micaceous Red Ware (based on Lothal/
culture. But this classification scheme was also not Rangpur/Vagad) and Pre-Urban Harppan Burial
applied in the sites of Gujarat. Possehl (1980) called Pottery (based on Santhli/Moti Pipli/Nagwada) are
Rangpur IIA as the Urban Harappan and IIB, IIC dated. Ajithprasad (2004) proposed a chronological
and III as the Post-Urban Harappan. sequence and stratigraphical structure for the Meso-
lithic and Chalcolithic assemblages of North Gujarat
Rojdi Phase Sequence based on the artifacts and absolute and relative dates
By the end of the 1980s, Possehl and Raval (1989) from important excavated sites in North Gujarat.
classified the artifacts of Rojdi based on absolute dates Though typological dating helps us to fit the material
and ceramic seriation. The Rojdi phase sequence is the assemblages of various sites into broader time frames,
second popular relative dating technique commonly it has a series of discrepancies. Chalcolithic research-
used to date the Sorath Harappan and Late Sorath es in Gujarat brought to light the evidences for the
Harappan sites in Gujarat since 1990. The ceramics existence of various regional cultures or traditions
sequence at Rojdi developed out of the systematic which survived for millennia without any directly
analysis of pottery relied on the fabric, form, decora- visible change in their material culture. If one follows
tion and statistical data of ceramics showed a change the typological dating system in these sites, errors of
in the Sorath Harappan ceramic tradition similar to thousands of years may occur. Similarly, the typologi-
the one noticed at Rangpur (Possehl and Raval 1989; cal dating presents serious problems in incorporating
Possehl and Herman 1990). The ceramics from vari- the surface finds which make up the bulk of Gujarat's
ous occupation levels at Rojdi organized into three- archaeological record.
fold scheme namely Rojdi A, B and C can generally
be compared to Rangpur IIA, IIB and IIC. As per the Chronological Sequences
recalibrated radiocarbon dates, Rojdi A, Rojdi B and Based on the archaeological data from excavated sites

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

like Lothal (IAR 1954-55), Rangpur (IAR 1953- excavated Chalcolithic/Chalcolithic-affiliated Meso-
54), Somnath (IAR 1955-56), Amra (IAR 1955-56), lithic sites in Gujarat can help the researchers to test
Lakhabawal (IAR 1955-56) and Vadnagar (Subbarao the validity of earlier propositions of the presence of
and Mehta 1955) and explored sites in Gujarat, Sub- cultural gaps and can also help to understand the cul-
barao (1958) created the widely accepted cultural se- tural changes that took place in different sub-regions
quence of Gujarat covering the time-period from the in Gujarat during various time-periods (Rajesh et al.
Palaeolithic to the Early Medieval. At the time of the 2012a, 2012b).
creation of the sequence, there were very limited exca-
vated sites in Gujarat (Nanavati 1962). Chronometric
dates for the sites were also absent. CHRONOLOGICAL SYNOPSIS
Herman (1997) tried to chronologically arrange OF GUJARAT
various Chalcolithic sites reported and dated based
on the Rangpur phase sequence occurring in different From the data available from excavated sites, it is ap-
parts of Gujarat with the help of the cultural remains parent that the Chalcolithic cultures in Gujarat were
from various excavated sites and the chronometric preceded by the Mesolithic culture. As per the AMS
dates. This study revealed that the Kachchh region dates from Loteshwar and Datrana, the beginning of
and the Saurasthra region have different time-frames the Mesolithic period in Gujarat can be traced back
and paces of urbanization. Ajithprasad (2004) pro- to the mid-8th millennium BC (Figure 57). The date
posed a chronological sequence and stratigraphical of the aceramic Mesolithic phase from Loteshwar is
structure for the Mesolithic and Chalcolithic assem- earlier or contemporary with the aceramic Neolithic
blages of North Gujarat based on the artifacts and levels of Mehrgarh and earlier than the Mesolithic
chronometric and relative dates from five excavated period of Bagor (Patel 2008). In Gujarat, like in many
sites in North Gujarat. Harris (2011) proposed a other parts of the Indian subcontinent, the dates of
relative chronology of Gujarat based on the ceramic many Mesolithic/Microliths yielding sites continue
distribution and chronometric and relative dates to the beginning of the Early Historic period. Thus, in
from selected excavated sites in and outside Gujarat the similar fashion, a large number of Mesolithic sites
(Loteshwar, Padri, Amri, Santhli, Datrana, Moti Pipli, located in different parts of Gujarat are contemporary
Nagwada, Prabhas Patan, Lothal, Rangpur, Surkota- with all the major transformations that took place in
da, Ahar, Rojdi, Langhnaj, Zekhda, Ratanpura and the region including the origin, development and de-
Kanewal). All chronological sequences proposed cline of the first complex urban society (Patel 2008).
for Gujarat were prepared using data from a limited While considering all the Chalcolithic sites in
number of sites; hence, in the presence of new radio- Gujarat, 26 revealed evidences for its existence during
carbon dates and more excavated sites in the region, the Pre-Urban Harappan period, 546 for the Urban
a review of these sequences was necessary. Therefore, Harappan period and 429 during the Post-Urban
Rajesh (2011) created the chronological sequence Harappan period. Among these, certain sites showed
and regional stratigraphy of Gujarat based on the re- cultural continuation from the Pre-Urban Harappan
calibrated chronometric dates and relative dates from to Post-Urban Harappan periods through the Urban
all the excavated Chalcolithic sites in Gujarat. The Harappan Period, while a few sites had any two of
creation of new regional stratigraphy was based on the them together. A few sites showed the existence of
assumption that the new chronological synopsis of all Pre-Urban or Urban or Post-Urban Harappan periods

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

only. In many of the excavated sites, the Chalcolithic communities. South Gujarat and Kachchh does not
cultures/traditions were followed by cultures of the show the evolution of the Chalcolithic communities
Early Historic or Medieval periods with clear/pro- from the Mesolithic people and suggests the possible
posed gaps of certain time-periods in different sub-re- occupation of these areas by the Chalcolithic commu-
gions. But in the explored sites, it is almost impossible nities at a later date compared to North Gujarat and
to know the presence of any cultural gap or continua- Saurashtra. The reasons for occurrence of Chalcolithic
tion of cultures. remains towards the end of second millennium BC
The earliest dated Chalcolithic site in Gujarat is and the beginning of first millennium BC in South
Loteshwar (c. 3900 BC) in North Gujarat followed by Gujarat may be due to the cultural contacts of the
Padri (c. 3800 BC) in Saurashtra. The dates of a few Chalcolithic communities of the sub-region with the
other sites in Kachchh, North Gujarat and Saurashtra Deccan Chalcolithic people or the ecological pref-
are also in the range of 3300 - 2600 BC. But none of erences of the people in relation with habitation and
the Chalcolithic sites in the South Gujarat is dated economy.
earlier than 2600 BC. A large number of sites from all In the beginning, the regional Chalcolithic cul-
the sub-regions can be broadly dated between c. 2600 tures/traditions that evolved from the Mesolithic
- 1900 BC (Urban Harappan period) and c. 1900 - communities of Gujarat around c. 4000 BC probably
1600 BC (Post-Urban Harappan period). Lustrous had an independent existence and had some contacts
Red Ware sites occur in all sub-regions and they can with the Mesolithic/Microliths-using communities
be dated between 1900 - 1250 BC. In South Gujarat, within the nearby areas, although, the evidence for
the date of Post-Urban Harappan period represented these contacts are scanty. Similarly, the ceramic types
by Malwa Ware and Jorwe Ware goes even up to c. from Santhli (Majumdar 1999) and Mathutra (Ma-
1000 BC (Figure 57). These dates suggest that, even jumdar 1999) suggest an evidence of an earlier contact
after the extinction of Post-Urban Harappans in with the Sindh region (Pre-Urban Harappan). By c.
Kachchh, North Gujarat and Saurashtra, it continued 3000 BC, there are clear evidence for the contacts
in South Gujarat for almost 500 years. between different regional cultures in Gujarat and
cultures of the Sindh region.
Towards the end of Pre-Urban Harappan Phase,
CONCLUSION i.e. c. 2600 BC, the regional Chalcolithic Anarta
Tradition and the Padri Culture integrated into the
The reasons for the initial preference of arid and Classical Harappans whose predecessors started the
semi-arid North Gujarat instead of the fertile South cultural contacts with the indigenous communities
Gujarat by the Mesolithic and Chalcolithic com- of Gujarat by the end of the fourth millennium BC.
munities and the establishment of a large number During this period, the material evidence for the
of settlements in the Saurashtra region in the Urban cultural contacts becomes clearer. The Pre-Prabhas
Harappan period need proper understanding. The assemblage which existed in the Pre-Urban Harappan
presence of the Mesolithic remains prior to the Chal- Phase at Datrana-IV and Somnath did not continue
colithic occupation and its coexistence with the Chal- during the Urban Harappan phase and the reasons for
colithic communities at many sites in North Gujarat their decline is not clear. The Reserved Slip Ware and
and Saurashtra probably indicates the evolution of the Black-and-Red Ware technique continued during the
Chalcolithic cultures/traditions from the Mesolithic Urban Harappan Phase. The evidence for the integra-

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Rajesh S.V. Indus Archaeology in Gujarat

tion can be inferred from the data recovered from the complete transformation due to which its identifiable
excavations at Loteshwar (Ajithprasad 2002, Yadav parameters changed and the reasons for the same are
2005), Bagasra (Sonawane et al. 2003; Bhan et al. not sure. Similarly the Reserved Slip Ware, which
2004; Chase 2010), Shikarpur (Bhan and Ajithprasad originated in the Pre-Urban Harappan period also
2009), Padri (Shinde 1998; Bhagat 2001; Shirvalkar came to an end. The Sorath Harappan also underwent
2008), and Nagwada (Hegde et al. 1988). changes and continued in the next phase as the Late
The Urban Harappan Period in Gujarat (2600 Sorath Harappan. According to the excavator, the
- 1900 BC) is noted for the continuation of old cul- Padri Ware became extinct at Padri by the end of the
tures/traditions and the beginning of new cultures/ Urban Harappan period and the site was deserted till
traditions/ wares. The first regional Chalcolithic the Early Historic period (Shinde 1998; Shirvalkar
tradition/ceramic type emerged during this period 2008). But the reanalysis of ceramics from Padri by
was the Micaceous Red Ware, whose quantities were the present researcher shows its continuation till the
found to increase in the lower levels at Lothal (Rao Post-Urban Harappan period.
1979, 1985). It occurred along with Classical and Sor- The Post-Urban Harappan period in Gujarat
ath Harappan ceramics at Lothal (Rao 1979, 1985), (1900 - 1000 BC) is noted for the emergence of new
Rangpur (Rao 1963), Rojdi (Possehl and Rawal traditions and the extinction of certain Chalcolithic
1989), Vagad (Sonawane and Mehta 1985), Kanewal traditions which existed in the earlier phases. The
(Mehta et al. 1980) and Desalpur (Soundara Rajan Micaceous Red Ware which emerged during the be-
1984). Another regional culture of this period is the ginning of the Urban Harappan period continued up
Sorath Harappan which is widely distributed all over to 1700/1600 BC (Herman and Krishnan 1994). The
Gujarat. It can be divided into two phases, i.e. Sorath Prabhas Ware which came into existence in 2200 BC
Harappan and Late Sorath Harappan. The Sorath became extinct in 1700 BC. The Sorath Harappan
Harappan ceramics were reported along with Padri ceramics evolved into new shapes and were called as
Ware at Pre-Urban Harappan levels (Shinde and Kar Late Sorath Harappan (c. 1900 - 1700 BC). The new
1992; Bhagat 2001) but the evidence from the site are ceramic type which emerged during this period is
doubtful to support its early origin. The middle of Ur- the Lustrous Red Ware and it continued from 1900
ban Harappan period witnessed the origin of another BC to 1300 BC or a little later (Rao 1963; Rissman
regional ceramic type known as Prabhas Ware. This and Chitalwala 1990). The Malwa Ware which was
was also found along with Classical Harappan and common in the Deccan region also appeared at a very
Sorath Harappan artefacts. The Chalcolithic cultures few sites in the time-period between 1700 - 1500
of this period had some cultural contacts with the BC (Mehta and Chaudhary 1975). The Jorwe Ware
Mesolithic population which existed during this peri- also showed its presence at a very few sites in South
od. This is indicated by the occurrence of Chalcolithic Gujarat and it is dated in between 1500 - 1000 BC
artefacts like copper objects and ceramics at Langhnaj. (Mehta and Chaudhary 1971). Black-and-Red Ware
All the regional cultures/traditions of this period ex- which appeared in the beginning of Pre-Urban Hara-
cept the Sorath Harappan are identified based on the ppan phase continued to the Early Historic period.
ceramics originated in the Saurashtra region and they The shapes of the Black-and-Red Ware vessels varied
are found associated with other cultures/traditions. in different periods and the manufacturing technique
Towards the end of Urban Harappan phase around probably remained the same.
c. 2000/1900 BC, the Anarta Tradition underwent a

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Acknowledgements Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past. Indus Pro-

Sincere acknowledgements are due to the University ject, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto.

of Kerala for its constant support. I would like to ac- pp. 83-99.
Ajithprasad, P. 2010. The Pre-Prabhas Pottery and the Early
knowledge Dr. Akinori Uesugi, for his great support
Chalcolithic Cultural Developments in North Gujarat.
and inspiration in various stages of preparation of this
Paper presented at the Bhuj Round Table, International
paper. I am thankful to Prof. K. Krishnan, Prof. Ajith-
Conference on Gujarat Harappans and Chalcolithic Cul-
prasad and Prof. K.K. Bhan, Department of Archae-
tures. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto,
ology and Ancient History, the Maharaja Sayajirao
Gujarat State Department of Archaeology, Gandhina-
University of Baroda for their help and support.
gar and Institute of Rajasthan Studies, JRN Rajasthan
Vidyapeeth, Udaipur.
Ajithprasad, P. and V.H. Sonawane 1993. Harappan Culture
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M.A. Dissertation. Department of Archaeology and An-


cient History, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baro-
da, Vadodara.

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

Exploring stylistic variation in


inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization:
a comparison of materials from sites in Gujarat and the Ghaggar-Hakra region

Gregg Jamison
(University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha)

INTRODUCTION throughout time and space. Traditionally there has


been an assumption that Indus seals are highly stand-
Inscribed steatite seals are some of the most well- ardized and uniform.
known and emblematic artifacts of the Indus civiliza- This can be traced back to the original excavator
tion, often used to identify the presence of a Harap- of Mohenjo-daro, Sir John Marshall, who stated “seals
pan site. Their discovery heralded the announcement from the different levels are so alike in style, material,
of a new civilization (Marshall 1924), and they have form, and technique that it is impractical to distin-
fascinated scholars and the general public alike ever guish between them” (Marshall 1931: 103). Another
since. These small, carved steatite objects have been problem is that very few steatite workshops have been
recovered from many sites throughout the Indus and systematically excavated at any Indus sites, and even
beyond, and are often engraved with a short inscrip- fewer can be directly connected with seal production.
tion and animal motif. Current evidence suggests Because of these factors, and the historical trend that
that the presence of iconographic motifs and writing, has emphasized research on the script over studies of
which has yet to be deciphered, would have encoded the seals themselves, only a few studies have analyzed
and transmitted culturally significant information variation in inscribed steatite seals in any meaningful
throughout the region, used in a variety of differ- manner (Ameri 2011, 2013, 2018; Franke-Vogt 1991,
ent contexts (Kenoyer 2006). Among their many 1992; Green 2010, 2016; Jamison 2011, 2012, 2013,
functions, inscribed steatite seals would have been 2016, 2017, 2018a, 2018b; Kenoyer 2003, 2005,
used by ruling elites as symbols of wealth and power, 2006, 2013; Kenoyer and Meadow 2010; Konasuka-
legitimizing the social order within and among Indus wa 2013; Rissman 1989; Uesugi 2011; Uesugi et al.
settlements (Kenoyer 2000). Since they can be seen as 2016).
symbols of elite power and control, it follows that by This paper explores stylistic and technological
studying them we can learn more about Indus social variation in inscribed steatite seals through a compar-
and political structures. ative analysis of published materials from various sites
Yet in spite of their significance, there are unan- in Gujarat and the greater Ghaggar-Hakra region.
swered questions concerning where and how they Using formal stylistic (attribute) and metric analysis,
were produced, and how this would have varied it has been possible to identify patterned variation in

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Shortughai

Harappa

Banawali
Nausharo Kalibangan
Bhirrana
Rakhigarhi

Baror Farmana

Ganweriwala

Lakhanjo-daro

Mohenjo-daro

Sutkagen-dor

Dholavira

Gujarat
Kanmer
Bagasra
Lothal

Sites with seals mentioned in this article

Urban centers

Sites of the Urban period

Figure 1 Map of Indus sites (Courtesy: A. Uesugi)

production techniques and styles that can be linked highlight the utility of comparative analyses to identi-
with different workshops where seals would have been fy seals that can be linked with different workshops.
produced. The results of this study, part of a larger The identification of distinct carving or workshop
project examining variability in inscribed steatite seals styles throughout the Indus is significant for a number
throughout the Indus, have clearly revealed significant of reasons. In the absence of stratigraphically excavat-
differences in the ways in which these objects were ed workshops, detailed studies of the seals themselves
produced and adorned between the two regions. represent the best method for understanding how
These data not only underscore the diversity present production was organized and varied. It also provides
within this important class of Indus artifacts, they also a method to examine material connections between

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

different sites and regions in the Indus, which were 2007; Possehl and Herman 1990; Rao et al. 2005;
crucial for the integration of the cultural system as a Sant et al. 2005; Shinde 1998; Shinde and Kar 1992;
whole. More broadly, this research provides additional Shinde et al. 2011; Sonawane 1992, 1999; Sonawane
support for interpretations concerning regional varia- and Ajithprasad 1994, Uesugi 2011). Significantly,
tion in certain forms of Indus material culture in Gu- multiple sites in each region have also yielded varying
jarat, the greater Ghaggar-Hakra region, and beyond. quantities of inscribed steatite seals, though to date
very few studies have attempted to investigate stylistic
and technological aspects of production, or undertake
BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY comparative analyses with seals from other regions
that can help define the nature of variation in Indus
Although seals are often used to identify the Harap- seal carving traditions.
pan character of a site, they are diverse in form and The methodology used to conduct this research
function. Collectively, Indus seals are found in nu- has been thoroughly discussed elsewhere ( Jamison
merous shapes and sizes, fashioned from different raw 2017). It consists of formal stylistic (attribute) and
materials, and would have been crafted using a variety metric analysis of various elements of Indus seal an-
of different technological processes. They also served imal iconography to identify patterned variation in
different purposes, based on the fact that some were carving styles (Table 1). Stylistic variants of selected
clearly used as stamp seals, while others were not; compositional elements of animal iconography have
and inscriptions are not present on all of them. The been distinguished on the basis of morphology and
most common types at many Indus sites are inscribed the number, placement, and orientation of carving
seals, usually made from fired steatite, a soft and easily strokes used to create them. For example, many seals
workable stone composed primarily of talc, which contain animals with necks that are decorated with
becomes considerably harder through the application incised or hatched lines on their necks (Figure 2). The
of heat. Inscribed seals have been found at numerous number and placement of these features varies con-
sites throughout the Indus culture area and beyond. siderably, and are therefore useful for distinguishing
A small but important number of these sites are stylistic variability. Another important consideration
found in Gujarat and the greater Ghaggar-Hakra in the selection of attributes for analysis was to only
region of Haryana and Punjab in northwestern India select those that have discrete, or finite, variability.
(Figure 1). These diverse regions are separated by The total number of attributes chosen for any given
nearly 1000 kilometers, and the geographic and envi- seal was based on the animal motif preset, its state of
ronmental backgrounds for each have been thorough- preservation, and quality of published image. Each
ly discussed elsewhere (Rao 1985; Shinde et al. 2011). distinct attribute style was given a unique number and
Systematic excavations at a few sites over the last 20 recorded for each seal. Comparative analyses followed
years have provided new insights into the nature and and these studies were supplemented by formal metric
character of Indus settlement planning and material analysis to identify further patterning.
culture. Among other things, these investigations have Metric analysis included recording measurements
identified significant variability in settlement layout of various elements of the animal motifs present
and architecture, subsistence, and various forms of on the seals (Figure 3). As these values are heavily
material culture (Ajithprasad 2008; Bisht 1990, 2005, dependent on the size of the seal and amount of avail-
2015; Bhan and Gowda 2003; Herman 1997; Possehl able space for carving, ratios of maximum length to

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Harappa (H-412) Mohanjo-daro (M-595) Mohenjo-daro (M-675)

Figure 2 Indus seals with variable neck carving styles

Table 1 List of stylistic attributes analyzed in the study

Stylistic Attributes

Head Neck Rear Legs

Eye Halter Rear Hooves

Ear Front Legs Tail

Snout/Mouth Front Hooves Upper Offering Stand

Horn Pizzle Lower Offering Stand

Figure 3 Metric attributes of the unicorn motif


chosen for analysis

maximum width have also been calculated and used seals sufficiently preserved for analysis. These include
for comparative analyses. Since these data vary con- a wide variety of sizes and animal motifs that are not
tinuously and the sample is not large, they have been distributed equally between the two regions. The
used to supplement the patterns identified through sample is dominated by materials from Lothal and
formal attribute analysis. Taken together both lines of Kalibangan, followed by Banawali. The remaining
evidence have been used to distinguish clear differenc- seals are comprised of smaller collections from the
es in the stylistic and metric properties of a sample of sites of Dholavira, Bagasra, Kanmer, and Surkotada
published seals from both regions. in Gujarat, and Baror and Bhirrana in the greater
As mentioned above, all material analyzed in this Ghaggar-Hakra region. Although none of these sites
study has been undertaken using published photo- except Dholavira has produced more than 10 seals,
graphs of seals recovered from different sites in Guja- they are still important as they provide crucial data for
rat and the greater Ghaggar-Hakra regions. A total of understanding variation within and between the two
138 inscribed steatite seals from 10 sites were analyzed regions.
in this study, including all published photographs of The sample does not contain the full corpus of

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

published seals from each site, either because of pres- elsewhere (Ameri 2011), and may reflect regional
ervation or publication issues. After completing the styles or preferences by different social groups that
analysis on each seal in the sample, comparative analy- made and used seals. According to Ameri, these differ-
sis was undertaken. Based on earlier research ( Jamison ences can also be seen in the carving styles, placement,
2013), seals found to have at least 7 shared stylistic and orientation of the animal motifs engraved on seals
attributes were classified into groups for further anal- between the two regions.
ysis. Additionally, basic patterns and characteristics To this I would add that there is as much stylistic
were identified for the sample as a whole, and within and metric variability within the seals from each re-
and between the two regions. gion is there is between them. Although some of the
seals studied here demonstrate clear links with materi-
als from other sites, within and between each region,
RESULTS collectively the sample is quite variable regardless of
site or region. This is significant in that it highlights
Two of the most basic patterns indentified in this the fact that inscribed steatite seals are stylistically
study support interpretations already published and proportionately variable regardless of where they
elsewhere. The first is that the seals from the Gh- are from. This likely relates to the fact that they were
aggar-Hakra region are dominated by animals that made by hand and produced by different individuals
face right on the engraved face. This has already and workshops. So while both regions do have seals
been extensively discussed elsewhere (Kenoyer and that are distinct, and groups (usually pairs) that likely
Meadow 2010, Konasukawa 2013, Uesugi, in press). represent distinct workshop carving styles, overall
In contrast, none of the seals from Gujarat analyzed there is as much variation within each region as there
in this study have right-facing animals. Uesugi has is between.
posited three hypotheses to explain the dominance of
right-facing animals on seals from the Ghaggar-Hakra Seals from Gujarat
region. These include the presence of a distinct re- Of the 68 seals from Gujarat analyzed in this study,
gional carving tradition in the Ghaggar-Hakra region a total of 6 groups comprised of 14 seals have been
(dominated by right-facing animals engraved with identified that may represent local or regional carving
an angular carving style), the possibility that these styles (Table 2). Most of these groups are small (less
materials represent an early carving style, or that seals than 5 seals) and restricted to only one or two sites in
of this type were made in distinct workshops and dis- Gujarat. A few other groups, discussed in greater de-
tributed throughout the Indus in varying quantities tail below, demonstrate links between a site in Gujarat
(Uesugi, in press). Based on current evidence, the first and either Mohenjo-daro or Harappa ( Jamison 2017,
of these seems most probable, though more data is Table 3). All but one of them depict the unicorn, as
needed to test all three hypotheses. these are the most common type in the sample from
Another general pattern observed is that the this region. In fact, 56 of the 68 seals from Gujarat de-
distribution of animal motifs on seals from the two pict the unicorn (82.4%). Of the remaining seals, no
regions is unequal. Seals from Gujarat are charac- other animal motif appears in more than 3 cases.
terized primarily by unicorns, while those from the
Ghaggar-Hakra depict the unicorn less frequently, by Lothal Group #1
count and proportion. This has also been discussed One of the most important discoveries to support the

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Table 2 Stylistic seal groups from sites in Gujarat

Stylistic Group Seal Count CISI/Other Number

Lothal #1 4 L10, L11, L12, L28

Lothal #2 2 L7, L18

Bagasra #1 2 BSR 7191, BSR 8288

Dholavira #1 2 DHR 34, DHR 40

Lothal-Bagasra 2 L39, BSR 2037

Lothal-Surkotada 2 L38, SKTD1

Figure 4 Lothal Seal Group #1 (Lothal Revisitation Project)

hypothesis that there are distinct local and regional present. Though one is fragmentary and two others
carving styles among the seals from Gujarat was the are damaged, there are clear parallels in the number
discovery of a stylistic group comprised of 4 seals from and placement of incised or hatched lines on the neck
Lothal (Figure 4). These 4 seals contain shared styles and halter. Similarities can also be seen in the shape
of at least 7 attributes of the unicorn motif when and proportions of the ear, pizzle, and rear legs and

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

hooves. Though only three of the seals depict the of- resent a local or regional carving style (Figure 5).
fering stand in front of the animal, these are also alike, This is interesting in light of the fact that Bagasra is a
both proportionately and in the fact that they do not small site that only yielded a few seals. Similarities in
contain any decoration in the form of incised lines or a number of stylistic attributes of the unicorn motif
other features. are clearly visible, including the ears, legs and hooves,
Proportions of various elements of the unicorn pizzles, and offering stands. The presence of a single
are also comparable, including body length/width, incised line near the rear flank of the animal’s body on
head length/width (when present), and neck length both seals is also interesting and unique; these are not
to width. The outline of the animal’s body below the common features on most unicorn seals. The place-
neck is also carved in a similar fashion, rising from ment and orientation of incised lines on the necks and
left to right and culminating at the rear flank, which halters are also comparable; the only difference is the
is the highest part of the body. Though not present total number present, which varies by only one stroke
on all the seals in this group, the tail and horn are also between them.
stylistically alike in both placement and orientation, Proportionately the two seals are also quite alike,
and both elements appear to have been engraved from especially in regards to the body, neck, head, and both
top to bottom. All of these factors support the inter- aspects of the offering stand. The latter are significant
pretation that these represent a local carving style, as in that they are among the most variable attributes
well as the fact that stylistically and proportionately that I have analyzed so far, and the fact that both
comparable seals have not been recovered from any seals depict offering stands that are stylistically and
other sites to date. proportionately alike supports the interpretation that
The distribution of these seals at Lothal is some- they may represent a local or regional carving style.
what difficult to disentangle, because two of the seals Although no evidence for steatite production was
are not provenienced. The remaining three seals are discovered at Bagasra, there was ample evidence for
from three different phases according to the original the manufacture of other crafts, including shell and
report (Rao 1985), all of which belong to Period A metal-working (Bhan et al. 2005).
(Mature Harappan). Purportedly they were recovered Overall these two seals are distinct from any other
from different depths, not surprising considering they examples identified so far in as much as they con-
were found in different levels and phases. Two of the tain unique combinations of stylistic attributes and
seals at least were found in the same grid, Block B. comparable proportions of length/width for several
This portion of the site, located in the Acropolis, also elements of the unicorn and offering stand. The distri-
produced a wide variety of other cultural materials bution of these two seals at the site is compatible with
and structural remains. The recovery of unfinished most of the others found during excavations; both
seals and a variety of implements that could have been were recovered within the fortified portion of the site
used to make them also suggests that they were made (Bhan et al. 2005: Jamison et al. 2017). While there
locally at the site. is not a strong contextual relationship between them,
overall it is comparable to the distribution of seals
Bagasra Group #1 from most Indus sites; they are usually found either
The sample of seals from Bagasra is small but im- within fortified areas of sites or near gateways and en-
portant for a number of reasons. Two of the seven trances (Kenoyer 1998).
inscribed steatite seals from the site appear to rep- These two brief examples highlight the fact that

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 5 Bagasra Seal Group #1 (Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, M.S. University of Baroda)

there is patterned variation in the stylistic and metric Seals from Gujarat with links to
properties of inscribed steatite seals. Generally, seals multiple sites and regions
from Gujarat are not only variable in these regards; Comparative analyses of seals from Gujarat with
they are comparatively distinct from those found in materials from other sites and regions have revealed
other regions in several other ways. First and foremost, patterns that may represent links between people
the carving styles of the animals, offering stands (when living in different places. A total of five additional seal
present), and inscriptions are of a poorer quality than groups have been identified that represent potential
those found at other Indus sites. Many of the unicorn links between multiple sites, between Gujarat and
seals in particular lack the fine details present in pub- Mohenjo-daro or Harappa (Table 3). It is important
lished examples from elsewhere, especially the major to reiterate that the seals in these groups are not
urban centers of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. At identical copies, in most cases minor differences exist,
Lothal in particular there are several seals that appear likely the result of the fact they were carved by hand,
to have been crudely carved or unfinished, and there and it is difficult (if not impossible) to replicate small,
is an example of this from Bagasra as well (Figure 6). finely engraved details of the unicorn and offering
This is not to say that there aren’t finely carved seals stand identically without the aid of mechanized
from these sites, there certainly are. A few of these ap- forms of production. Nonetheless, all of the seals in
pear to demonstrate links between different sites and these groups contain unique combinations of stylistic
regions as well. attributes not seen elsewhere, and for the most part

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

Lothal (L-23) Bagasra (BSR-6952)

Figure 6 Poorly carved unicorn seals from Lothal and Bagasra


(Lothal Revisitation Project; Department or Archaeology and Ancient History, M.S. University of Baroda)

Table 3 Stylistic seal groups from sites in Gujarat with links to sites in other regions

Stylistic Group Seal Count CISI/Other Number

Lothal-Mohenjo-daro #1 2 L1, M28

Lothal-Mohenjo-daro #2 3 L5, M730, M731

Bagasra-Mohenjo-daro 2 BSR6719, M104

Harappa-Lothal 2 H502, L42

Harappa-Dholavira 2 H37, DHR349

are stylistically and proportionately so alike that they other pair from Bagasra that depicts the same feature.
probably represent distinct carving styles. Thorough comparative analysis of the group has been
presented elsewhere ( Jamison 2017), it is important
Lothal-Bagasra Group to note here that the pair may represent a local or
As Lothal yielded the largest quantity of seals from regional carving style from Gujarat. Unfortunately, it
any of the sites in Gujarat, it is not surprising that is not possible to identify any patterning in the distri-
most of the seals that demonstrate links with other bution of this pair or seals due to the lack of reliable
sites and regions come from there. For example, a uni- contextual information for the seal from Lothal.
corn seal from Lothal bears strong stylistic similarities
with a unicorn seal from Bagasra (Figure 7). They are Lothal-Mohenjo-daro Groups #1 & 2
stylistically and proportionately nearly identical, with There are two other groups of unicorn seals that
the exception of the lack of a pizzle on the seal from demonstrate stylistic links between Lothal and Mo-
Bagasra. The incised line present on the rear flanks henjo-daro (Figure 8). The first one consists of only
of both seals is also not common, though there is an- two seals, one from each site. There are clear parallels

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Lothal (L-39) Bagasra (BSR-2037)

Figure 7 Lothal-Bagasra Seal Group


(Lothal Revisitation Project; Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, M.S. University of Baroda)

in the stylistic attributes of a number of unicorn at- Bagasra-Mohenjo-daro Group


tributes, including the head, neck, ear, horn, halter, Another important discovery during the course of
pizzle, legs, and hooves. Though the offering stands analysis was a pair of seals from Bagasra and Mohen-
are decorated differently, proportionately they are jo-daro that are stylistically and proportionately alike
nearly identical. There are also other similarities in (Figure 9). In fact, the proportions of length to width
the ratio of length to width for most elements of the for all attributes of the unicorn analyzed are nearly
unicorn’s body. The pattern of three incised lines on identical, as are both aspects of the offering stand.
the upper portion of the neck in both seals is also a Most stylistic attributes are also similar, and the ab-
unique feature. The second group consists of three sence of any decoration on the neck on both seals is
seals, one from Lothal and two from Mohenjo-daro. also distinct and uncommon. Compared to the other
They also contain a majority of shared unicorn attrib- seals from Bagasra, this one is of a finer quality. The
ute styles and proportions, and the offering stands are edges of the engraved surfaces are smoother, and the
also comparable both stylistically and proportionately. small details on both the unicorn’s body and the offer-
Again there are minor differences among the seals in ing stand are finer and carved with greater precision.
both of these groups, but, as discussed above, these are Considering the small quantity of seals recovered
neither significant nor unexpected. These groups have from Bagasra, and the lack of evidence for production
also been discussed in detail in earlier work ( Jami- at the site, it is possible that this seal was produced at
son 2017) and unfortunately do not provide strong Mohenjo-daro and sent to Bagasra via exchange net-
evidence of contextual patterning due to the lack of works, or with an individual who traveled there.
stratigraphic controls in the original excavations at
both sites. Lothal-Harappa Group
During the course of analysis a pair of seals from
Harappa and Lothal was discovered that may repre-

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

Lothal-Mohenjo-daro Group #1

Mohenjo-daro (M-28) Lothal (L-1)

Lothal (L-5) Mohenjo-daro (M-730) Mohenjo-daro (M-731)

Lothal-Mohenjo-daro Group #2
Figure 8 Lothal-Mohenjo-daro Seal Groups #1 & 2 ( Joshi and Parpola 1987; Shah and Parpola 1991)

sent links between the two sites. Both seals depict distances than those already discussed above.
left-facing unicorns with offering stands below the Stylistic parallels between the two seals can eas-
head and short inscriptions above the animal (Figure ily be seen in the heads, horns, ears, necks, halters,
10). They are grouped together based on shared sty- legs, hooves, and pizzles. Though the number and
listic attributes and proportions of length to width placement of incised lines present in both registers
for five elements of the unicorn and offering stand. of the offering stands vary, morphologically they are
Both are small and worn, but all elements under anal- also alike. They also have very similar proportions of
ysis here are preserved. Though several elements are length to width for six of the seven elements of the
engraved with common stylistic types, at present the unicorn and offering stand studied. These include
combinations are unique. If these two seals do rep- the head and neck, body, pizzle, and both registers of
resent a workshop or artisan style, they demonstrate the offering stand. More broadly, the seals are nearly
connections between sites located at much greater the same size (approximately 1.6 cm2) and also have

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Mohenjo-daro (M-104) Bagasra (BSR-6719)

Figure 9 Bagasra-Mohenjo-daro Seal Group


(Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, M.S. University of Baroda; Joshi and Parpola 1987)

Harappa (H-502) Lothal (L-42)

Figure 10 Lothal-Harappa Seal Group ( Joshi and Parpola 1987; Shah and Parpola 1991)

comparable proportions of the total engraved surface. ther, it is not possible to determine where they were
Since they are not large, several of the smaller ele- produced, because only one seal from each site has so
ments, particularly the eye, are somewhat difficult to far been classified to this group and both have yield-
identify and analyze using photographs alone. ed unfinished seals that represent local production.
It is difficult to confidently determine if there are Nonetheless, this finding is still significant because it
any contextual relationships between the seals, due demonstrates that seals from Gujarat can be linked to
to problems with stratigraphy and association in the multiple sites located in different regions of the Indus.
reports where they were originally published. Fur- A similar pattern holds true for the materials from the

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

greater Ghaggar-Hakra region. sights into the scale and nature of variation present, as
well as potential links with seals from other sites.
Seals from the greater Ghaggar-Hakra Of the 70 seals from the greater Ghaggar-Hakra
region region analyzed in this study, a total of 3 groups
The most interesting pattern among the seals from comprised of 6 seals have been identified that may
the greater Ghaggar-Hakra is the higher proportion represent local or regional carving styles (Table 4).
of right-facing animals and lower frequency of the As with the materials discussed above from Gujarat,
unicorn motif. These differences characterize the seals these groups are based on shared attribute styles and
from the Ghaggar-Hakra when compared to the In- metric proportions. For the most part, the specific
dus as a whole, but are particularly prominent when combinations of these attributes are unique, even if
measured against the materials from sites in Gujarat individual element styles are more common. It is also
discussed above (Table 3). As this has already been worth noting that two of the groups are from one site
discussed (Konasukawa 2013; Uesugi, in press), the (Kalibangan), the other from two sites (Banawali and
goal here is to present additional patterning that sup- Bhirrana). As with the stylistic groups from Gujarat,
ports these earlier studies and highlight new findings there are other groups (7) that contain seals from the
that link seals between sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra Ghaggar-Hakra and sites in other regions, principally
region. The current study has also uncovered evidence Mohenjo-daro (Table 5).
of stylistically and proportionately similar seals from The difference is that there are more multi-region-
sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra with materials recovered al stylistic groups that contain at least one seal from a
outside of the region. Taken together, the analysis of Ghaggar-Hakra site (7 groups comprised of 16 seals)
seals from the Ghaggar-Hakra has provided new in- than there are regional groups (3 groups comprised of

Table 4 Stylistic seal groups from sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra region

Stylistic Group Seal Count CISI/Other Number

Kalibangan #1 2 K4, K8

Kalibangan #2 2 K13, K22

Banawali-Bhirrana 2 B10, BHR 1

Table 5 Stylistic seal groups from sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra region with links to sites in other regions

Stylistic Group Seal Count CISI/Other Number

Banawali-Farmana-Mohenjo-daro 3 B7, FMN1, M269

Harappa-Kalibangan #1 2 H408, K5

Harappa-Kalibangan #2 2 H475, K19

Kalibangan-Mohenjo-daro #1 2 K15, M732

Kalibangan-Mohenjo-daro #2 2 K17, M738

Bhirrana-Mohenjo-daro 2 BHR1, M977

Banawali-Balakot 3 B4, B5, BLK5

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

6 seals), while in Gujarat the numbers are more equal them (KLB-4) appears to have been effected by the
(6 regional, Gujarat-based stylistic groups comprised placement of the upper register of the offering stand.
of 14 seals, 5 multi-regional stylistic groups comprised Overall, the ratios of length to width for the body, ear,
of 11 seals, with at least one seal from a Gujarati site). head, pizzle, and lower register of the offering stand
However, none of these numbers are statistically sig- are very similar. Unfortunately, it is not possible to
nificant, and more data is necessary to determine if untangle any contextual relationship between the two
these differences represent broader cultural trends be- seals at present, as this data is awaiting publication.
tween the two regions. At present, the differences in However, based on the clear stylistic similarities, and
multi-regional distribution patterns between stylistic the carving style and orientation of the inscription, it
groups from Gujarat and the Ghaggar-Hakra can pri- is likely that the seals have similar temporal affiliation.
marily be explained by the frequency of multi-regional More importantly, to date no other seals with these
groups that contain at least one seal from Kalibangan. attribute combinations have been identified from any
other sites.
Kalibangan Group #1
This group consists of two seals, both of which depict Kalibangan Group #2
left-facing animals with offering stands in front of the This group also consists of a pair of unicorn seals
unicorn’s body (Figure 11). This group has been pre- with left-facing animals and offering stands in front
sented earlier ( Jamison 2017) but is worth discussing of the body (Figure 12). As with group #1 from
again here as it provides the best evidence of a local, Kalibangan, at present they represent unique stylistic
site-based carving style from a site in the greater Gh- attribute combinations, and therefore may represent
aggar-Hakra region. Simple visual inspection confirms a local carving style. This hypothesis is strengthened
that the seals have shared styles of nearly all attribute by the fact that Kalibangan is one of only a few sites
styles under consideration here. These are most visible to have yielded unfinished seals ( Joshi and Parpola
in the styles of eyes, ears, necks, halters, and offering 1987). Though one of the seals (KLB-22) is worn and
stands. The eyes and ears in particular are distinct and damaged around the edges, there are still visible sim-
unique, both in terms of their placement and orien- ilarities in many stylistic elements, including the eye,
tation and in the number of carving strokes used to horn, neck, halter, pizzle, tail, and both registers of the
engrave them. There are also clear parallels in the legs offering stand. Most other elements vary only slightly
and hooves and tails, and the placement and orien- in placement and orientation, some of which appear
tation of the pizzles are also comparable, even if the to have been influenced by the presence of other fea-
carving strokes are distinct. Though some of these ele- tures, especially the inscriptions and offering stands.
ment styles are common (neck and halter), others are The ratio of length to width for five of the seven
not, and to date I have not identified any other seals metric attributes studied is also comparable, with only
with these specific combinations of stylistic attributes. minor variance observed. The most obvious difference
The proportions of length to width for most of the in proportions between the two seals in this group
elements of the unicorn and offering stand studied in is the neck. Again this may be partially due to the
this research are also comparable, though not identi- placement of the upper register of the offering stand.
cal. The most glaring discrepancy is in the proportions Another discrepancy can be seen in the proportion of
of the neck, but this can likely be explained by the the ears. Since these are among the smallest elements
fact that the seals were carved by hand and one of of unicorn iconography, they generally demonstrate

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

Kalibangan (K-4) Kalibangan (K-8)


Figure 11 Kalibangan Seal Group #1 ( Joshi and Parpola 1987)

Kalibangan (K-13) Kalibangan (K-22)


Figure 12 Kalibangan Seal Group #2 ( Joshi and Parpola 1987)

more metric variation than others. In spite of these Seals from the Ghaggar-Hakra with links
minor differences, the proportions of the head, body, to other sites and regions
pizzle, and both aspects of the offering stand are very Though collectively the seals from the Ghaggar-Hakra
similar. Based on current evidence, this pair may also are stylistically distinct from most found at other
represent a local or regional carving style as discussed sites and regions, there are a few examples of groups
above. (primarily pairs) that have shared attribute styles and
proportions of length to width. While most of these
demonstrate links between a single site in the Ghag-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

gar-Hakra and either Harappa or Mohenjo-daro, there from the Ghaggar-Hakra sites, and are so alike both
are also 7 groups that are distributed among multiple stylistically and proportionately that they may have
sites in the former region. While it is possible that been carved by the same hands. Both seals depict
these may represent regional carving styles centered right-facing markhors with upturned heads, a char-
in the Ghaggar-Hakra, much more work is necessary acter of the Indus script below the head where the
to evaluate this hypothesis. In any case, these findings offering stand is usually placed, and short inscriptions
are comparable to those discussed above for Gujarat comprised of the same characters (Figure 14). The
and highlight the fact that both regions contain seals markhor is one of the least common animals engraved
that are stylistically distinct as well as ones that have on Indus seals, and the fact that it appears facing right
parallels at other sites throughout the Indus. on two seals from the Ghaggar-Hakra is interesting
in and of itself. When we analyze the compositional
Banwali-Farmana-Mohenjo-daro Group elements of the animal, however, the overwhelming
This group actually consists of three seals, one each similarities between the two seals become even clearer.
from Banawali and Farmana, and the third from Mo- For example, both animals are engraved with
henjo-daro. All three seals depict right-facing buffalos, the same number of parallel lines on the neck and
engraved in a bold, angular style (Figure 13). To date, shoulder, and each has a large, prominent eyeball that
these are among the only examples of right-facing occupies most of the engraved surface on the head.
buffalo seals that have been published from any site. Clear parallels can also be seen in the position and
Although they are not identical copies, they have very orientation of the horns, pizzles, legs, and hooves; and
similar styles of horns, eyes, pizzles, legs, and hooves. both contain a single incised line near the animal’s
The parallel, incised lines on the animal’s body are rear flank. This feature has already been discussed in
also quite similar. Though the seal from Banawali is regard to some of the other groups above, and appears
damaged and does not have incised lines on the body, to be more common on seals with right facing animals
the two from Farmana and Mohenjo-daro do depict from the Ghaggar-Hakra. Another striking similarity
these features. All three also bear short inscriptions is seen in the tails of both animals, which extends
that are fairly linear in orientation and engraved with upward vertically from the rump and contains three
an angular carving style. While most buffalo seals are roughly perpendicular incised lines near the tip. Of
left facing with a manger or feeding trough in front equal significance is the fact that both depict the same
of the animal’s head, none of the three in this group inscribed character below the head, which is nearly
contain these features. There are also a number of identical in placement and proportion.
clear similarities in the proportions of the three seals. The two seals have nearly identical proportions of
These are most visible in the horns, body, legs, and most other elements of the animal’s body too, includ-
pizzles. Whether these seals were actually produced ing the head, neck, body, and pizzle. Even the inscrip-
at one of the Ghaggar-Hakra sites remains uncertain, tions are similar, in that both are comprised of short
but for now they can be characterized as representing vertical lines that are parallel and not linear; they rise
a distinct regional style centered there. from left to right on the original seals towards the top
of the engraved face. If not for the fact that one con-
Banawali-Bhirrana Group tains seven of these and the other six and they demon-
This group consists of two seals, one from each site. strate different wear patterns it would be difficult
They represent one of the strongest links among seals to distinguish between them based on photographs

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

Farmana (FMN-1) Banawali (B-7) Mohenjo-daro (M-269)

Figure 13 Banawali-Farmana-Mohenjo-daro Seal Group ( Joshi and Parpola 1987; Shinde et al. 2011)

Banawali (B-10) Bhirrana (BHR-2)


Figure 14 Banawali-Bhirrana Seal Group
(Line drawings based on the photos published in Joshi and Parpola 1987 and Rao et al. 2004)

alone. As with most of the other groups, it is not pos- both groups have been discussed elsewhere ( Jamison
sible to identify any contextual relationships based on 2017), little else needs to be said here beyond reiterat-
current published data, but they are so obviously alike ing that both pairs are characterized by at least seven
that it seems probable they were carved by the same shared stylistic attributes and five ratios of length
artisans and are therefore likely contemporary from to width for various elements of the unicorn motif.
an archaeological perspective. Although the first group does contain fairly common
element styles, the combinations of them are unique
Harappa-Kalibangan Groups #1 & 2 thus far. The second group is more unique stylistically,
There are two groups of seals that highlight links with uncommon styles of the heads, eyes, and offering
between Harappa and Kalibangan. Both contain two stands. To date parallel styles of these features have
seals, one from each site. They depict left-facing uni- not been identified on other seals.
corns with offering stands in front of the animal’s head At present it is not possible to determine where
and inscriptions of varying lengths (Figure 15). As the seals in these groups were produced. Since both

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Harappa-Kalibangan Group #1

Harappa (H-408) Kalibangan (K-5)

Harappa (H-475) Kalibangan (K-19)

Harappa-Kalibangan Group #2
Figure 15 Harappa-Kalibangan Seal Groups #1 & 2 ( Joshi and Parpola 1987; Shah and Parpola 1991)

sites have yielded evidence of seal production and the sent a regional carving style centered at either one of
form of unfinished seals, as well as stylistically distinct the sites, as no parallels have been identified anywhere
seals, it is possible that they could have been made at else. This provisional interpretation supports earlier
either. The fact that there is only one seal from both research concerning the distribution of regional carv-
sites in each group is also problematic in determining ing styles throughout the Indus (Rissman 1989).
the source. Regardless, it is probable that both repre- As detailed contextual information concerning the

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

Kalibangan (K-15) Mohenjo-daro (M-732)

Figure 16 Kalibangan-Mohenjo-daro Seal Group #1 ( Joshi and Parpola 1987; Shah and Parpola 1991)

distribution of seals from Kalibangan has not been bangan that is engraved in two registers (Figure 16).
published, it is useful to examine the distribution of Although the seal from Mohenjo-daro is fractured,
the two seals from Harappa to try and unravel spatial all of the elements under analysis in this research are
and chronological patterning there. Unfortunately still present. A cursory glance at both seals reveals that
both seals were recovered before the initiation of the they are quite similar, and many of the attributes are
Harappa Archaeological Research Project (HARP), engraved and decorated in unique ways.
which has exercised more rigorous stratigraphic exca- There are a number of obvious stylistic similarities
vations at the site than earlier investigations. Based on between the two seals. The pattern of incised lines on
the available evidence, all that can be confidently stat- the neck is the same, as are the total number present
ed is that the two seals were recovered from different on each. Each halter is engraved with a single curvilin-
mounds and stratigraphic layers at the site. Consid- ear line at the front and two parallel lines at the back,
ering that the two seals from Harappa are stylistically and both have a single incised line near the rear flank,
distinct, and current evidence indicates that specific above the leg. Both depict prominent drilled eyeballs
craft technologies were taking place throughout dif- with a single brow above, and the faces have promi-
ferent areas at the site (Kenoyer and Miller 2007); this nent snouts and what appears to be a single incised
is neither surprising nor unexpected. line that represents a mouth. The legs, hooves, pizzles,
tails, and ears are so alike that it is possible they were
Kalibangan-Mohenjo-daro Group #1 engraved by the same hand. Even the elements that are
One of the most significant and unexpected findings slightly disparate, including the incised lines on the
of this study was the identification of a pair of sty- face and offering stands, are still comparable morpho-
listically similar seals from Kalibangan and Mohen- logically and proportionately. Both seals also depict
jo-daro. Both depict left-facing unicorns with offering horns with a series of finely engraved perpendicular
stands below the head and inscriptions of varying incised lines.
length, including a longer one on the seal from Kali- Further evidence of commonalities between the

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Bhirrana (BHR-1) Mohenjo-daro (M-977)

Figure 17 Bhirrana-Mohenjo-daro Seal Group (Shah and Parpola 1991; Uesugi et al. 2016)

two seals can also be seen in the ratios of length to of local production in the form of unfinished seals,
width for all seven attributes of the unicorn motif and and there is only one example from both sites, it is
offering stand under analysis. Most of the groups dis- also not possible at present to determine where they
cussed above contain some metric diversity in one or were produced. Based on the overwhelming evidence
a few categories, but the amount of variance between presented above, however, it seems likely that they
these two is minimal. Considering that analysis was are contemporary, and likely represent the products
conducted on photographs rather than the actual of a single workshop. More broadly, these two seals
seals, it is possible that there is even less present than represent the best evidence uncovered to date of
observed here. The dimensions of the seals themselves inter-regional seal connections among Indus sites.
are also comparable (they are nearly the same size), Though I have identified several other examples of
as are the proportions of the total engraved surface. this, these two seals remain the best example of links
Overall, the level of standardization between the two between different regions because of the strong and
seals is remarkable, especially in light of the fact they clear similarities among all attribute categories under
were carved by hand. This, in concert with the fact consideration.
they contain unique attribute styles, most of which
are engraved with fine detail, suggests that both may Bhirrana-Mohenjo-daro Group
have been produced by the same skilled artisans. The last group consists of a pair of seals from Bhirrana
Unfortunately it is not possible at present to de- and Mohenjo-daro. Both seals depict right-facing
termine whether there are any strong contextual rela- unicorns carved in a distinctive, angular style (Figure
tionships between the two, since this information has 17). Although the seal from Mohenjo-daro is frag-
not been published for Kalibangan and is problematic mentary and several elements are missing, the seals
for Mohenjo-daro due to issues with stratigraphy and have been grouped based on shared stylistic attributes
chronology. Since both sites have yielded evidence and proportions of the unicorn that are present. These

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

are clearly visible in the styles of eyes, necks, legs and since these objects are small and were carved by hand,
hooves, and pizzles. Though the ears and horns are different craftspeople would have produced them
not decorated in the same manner, there are parallels using their own unique carving styles and techniques.
in their placements and orientations. Both unicorns This hypothesis is based on earlier research ( Jamison
also depict comparable patterns of incised lines on 2013, 2017) with modern steatite carvers, replicating
their necks and rear flanks. One of the most unique aspects of Indus seal production. Another analogy is
shared features is an incised line that is oriented per- hand-writing: everyone does it a little bit differently,
pendicular to the front legs, which is not common on even when writing the same thing.
most other unicorn seals. The fact that it is possible to find seal groups that
The seal from Bhirrana has already been examined are distinct from others is significant for a number
(Uesugi et al. 2016) and described in detail. Propor- of reasons. It highlights the utility of formal anal-
tionately some of the elements are alike between the ysis (stylistic and metric) to identify patterns that
two, but it is difficult to adequately compare all the relate to the carving styles of individual artisans and
various elements since the object from Mohenjo-daro workshops. More importantly, the distribution of
is broken. Beyond the similarities already mentioned, these groups indicates that seal production and use in
the seal from Mohenjo-daro is also noteworthy be- the Indus was not restricted to only the large urban
cause it is one of only a few from the site that depicts centers, that they were likely produced in multiple
a right-facing unicorn. The fact that it demonstrates workshops throughout the Indus, including in Guja-
links with this seal from Bhirrana is also significant, rat and the greater Ghaggar-Hakra region. The results
because these two sites are separated by considerable of this study also suggest that the finished products of
distance and currently represent the best potential ev- these different workshops were distributed through
idence for seal connections between a Ghaggar-Hakra multiple exchange networks. Even in this brief study it
site and one from Sindh. As the seal from Bhirrana has been possible to identify groups that are restricted
has already been extensively studied, including the to single sites, others to either Gujarat or the Ghag-
use of scanning electron microscope, the potential gar-Hakra, and others that demonstrate links between
relationship between these two seals can be further multiple regions.
investigated by conducting similar research on the seal All of this evidence points towards a complex pat-
from Mohenjo-daro. tern of seal manufacture and use in the Indus, which
can be characterized as a decentralized form of pro-
duction. Under this system we expect to see evidence
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION for seal production in multiple workshops within and
among different settlements, with different workshops
The results of this study have clearly revealed that using variable carving styles, techniques, and tools.
although inscribed square stamp seals are highly var- It is only through detailed comparative analysis that
iable between the two regions, at least some of this we can identify the patterns that support this, and
variation is patterned. There are groups of seals from the preliminary results discussed here are promising.
both areas that are stylistically and proportionately Further testing is necessary to evaluate all of the in-
similar (within each region, not between them). I terpretations presented in this paper, but can easily
argue that these likely represent the products of indi- be accomplished through analysis of more seals from
vidual workshops and artisans, based on the idea that more sites.

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Another important avenue for future research (2450-2200 BCE) or 3C (2200-1900 BCE) carving
has to do with chronological changes in seal carving styles. These contain left-facing animals with more
styles. Though most of the seals in the groups dis- smooth, naturalized carving styles and variable in-
cussed in this paper do not have reliable stratigraphic scription characteristics (Kenoyer 2006; Kenoyer and
contexts, it is possible to hypothesize which periods Meadow 2010).
they may belong to using a comparative approach.
Excavations by the Harappa Archaeological Research 3. Overall, the comparative analysis of carving styles,
Project (HARP) have uncovered various seals from though preliminary, supports the HARP seal chronol-
sound stratigraphic contexts, allowing the creation of ogy, highlighting change over time. At least some of
a seal chronology for that site (Kenoyer 2006; Kenoy- the variation identified in this study can be correlated
er and Meadow 2010). Recent excavations at sites in with this, though further study is required to support
the Ghaggar-Hakra region (Shinde et al. 2011) and or challenge these preliminary findings.
analyses of recovered seals (Konasukawa 2013; Uesugi Another long-term goal is to examine the seals
2011; Useugi et al. 2016) have also provided insights themselves as opposed to published photographs. The
into changes in seal carving styles and techniques over use of the scanning electron microscope to examine
time. Using this research as a comparative framework, tool marks and engraved surfaces made with different
it has been possible to make some preliminary obser- tools has proved to be a powerful technique for inves-
vations about chronological patterning among the seal tigation technical aspects of production that are not
groups discussed in this work, though these should be possible using photographs ( Jamison 2013; Kenoyer
viewed as hypotheses for future studies as opposed to 2003, 2005; Konasukawa 2013; Shinde et al. 2011;
strong inferences and interpretations. Uesugi et al. 2016). Future research utilizing this
The following three preliminary observations have technique on the seal groups identified in this study
been made about chronological affiliations of the seal will allow us to identify additional patterns that will
groups identified from sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra and strengthen or refute the conclusions presented here.
Gujarat: In spite of the significance of inscribed steatite
seals in the Indus civilization, it is still unclear how
1. Based on comparative analyses, at least some of the and where they were made, and how production
groups from the Ghaggar-Hakra appear to represent varied within and among different sites and regions.
early carving styles, correlated with Period A of the This study has identified evidence of clear variation
Harappa Phase (2600-2450 BCE). They are charac- among seals from sites in Gujarat and the greater Gh-
terized by right-facing animals, bold, angular carving aggar-Hakra region, in terms of iconography, carving
styles, and short, angular inscriptions (Kenoyer 2006). styles, and metric proportions. But it is also important
At least three of these groups also demonstrate stylis- to note that there is as much variability among the
tic links with seals from Mohenjo-daro. seals from each region as there is between them. More
importantly, using formal attribute (stylistic) and met-
2. Early carving styles are absent from sites in Gujarat, ric analysis, it has been possible to identify groups of
suggesting that regional seal carving began later there, seals that were likely made in the same workshops. In
or that to date no examples of early carving styles the absence of stratigraphically excavated seal work-
have been discovered. In contrast, the majority of the shops at most Indus sites, analysis of the seals them-
groups from Gujarat appear to represent Period 3B selves using these methods represents the best way to

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Gregg Jamison Exploring stylistic variation in inscribed steatite seals of the Indus civilization

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Takekazu Nagae Indus copper wares

Indus copper wares:


Study of manufacturing process by metallography

Takekazu Nagae
(Faculty of Art and Design, University of Toyama)

1 INTRODUCTION et al. 2010). Microstructures of excavated bronze are


frequently observed mainly from artifacts belonging
Various kinds of artifacts excavated from the Indus to the first millennium BC (Srinivasan and Glover
Valley tell us about the lives of ancient people. Copper 1995) Therefore, the origin of heat treatment is as yet
wares are one such kind of artifact, providing us with unknown. Microstructural study is thus important
significant information about advances in science to reveal the origin of heat treatment technology of
and technology during ancient times. Copper is one high-tin bronze.
of the oldest metals used by humans. Small pendants India has a great history of metal working begin-
and other items made by hammering "native copper" ning from the Indus civilization. Here, I would like to
found in the Middle East have been dated to about show typical microstructural data of copper artifacts
8700 BC. The oldest smelted metal is considered to from the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age, and tradition-
be copper that was produced around 7000 BC in al craftworks that persist to the present day.
Anatolia. The invention of bronze (copper-tin alloy)
brought about a remarkable increase in the use of cop-
per, heralding the beginning of the Bronze Age (Davis 2 BASICS FOR AN UNDERSTANDING OF
ed. 2001: 3). At the ancient Indus Valley sites such as METALLURGICAL STUDY
Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Lothal, and Rangpur, sev-
eral kinds of bronze wares were excavated along with 2.1 Crystal structures of metal materials
many copper wares. Alloying technology decreased Metal atoms bond with each other via free electrons.
the melting temperature of a metal and made casting These atoms are packed very densely and form metal
easier. On top of that, the mechanical properties of crystals. Figure 1(a) shows an example of lacunal pack-
copper were enhanced by alloying. Generally, bronze ing. Most metal atoms do not arrange in this order. In
contains several percent of tin, and when this amount the case of copper, the atoms are arranged as shown in
goes over 10 %, the hardness rises steeply with tin Figure 1(b). They are piled up as schematically shown
content. The alloys are then called "high-tin bronze". in Figure 1(c). The atomic packing factor (APF) in
In particular, we call high-tin bronze containing more this case is 0.74, which is the highest value among all
than 15 % tin "heat treatable high-tin bronze" (Mifune kinds of metal crystals. Figure 1(d) shows a schematic

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Figure 1 Allay of atoms in a copper crystal


(a) Large interspatial array (No metals, except for Po, form this array), (b) Smallest interspatial array, (c) Stacking the smallest inter-
spatial array in layers, (d) Schematic illustration of copper crystal unit cell (Face-centered cubic: FCC)

Figure 2 Schematic illustration of impurity atoms


(a) Tin in copper FCC crystal (substitutional type), (b) Carbon in iron BCC crystal (interstitial type)

illustration of this crystal, which has a face-centered of the original metal. However, this also means that
cubic (FCC) structure. Silver and gold also take on we can improve the material properties or impart
this FCC structure. Hexagonal closed packed (HCP) new useful characteristics by the addition of adequate
and body-centered cubic (BCC) structures are other elements (alloying elements). A copper alloy with
typical crystal structures of metallic materials. Iron tin is called bronze, and an iron alloy with carbon is
shows a BCC structure at room temperature. called steel. We have used these alloys for a long time
Engineering materials always contain impurities, now, from ancient times. Both of these alloys show
such as hydrogen, oxygen, and/or sulfur. It is impos- decreased melting temperature and increased strength
sible to make a pure metal without any impurities. by alloying.
These impurities often aggravate the characteristics Figure 2 shows the positions of alloying elements

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Takekazu Nagae Indus copper wares

in crystals of copper (a) and iron (b). In bronze, tin illustration, as for the α, β and γ phases as shown in
atoms are substituted with copper atoms which com- Figure 3. When being shaped into objects, this fragile
pose the FCC crystal. In the case of steel, carbon takes phase could cause breakage of the object. Therefore,
a position at the interspace of the BCC crystal of iron. the removal of the δ phase is important for high-tin
Tin and carbon are thus dissolved in the copper and bronze working and for improving the durability of
iron, respectively. Copper and iron are therefore called products that contain it. Especially for heat-treatable
solvents, tin and carbon are solute atoms, and the solid high-tin bronze, which contains more than 15 % tin,
material which dissolves solute atoms is called a solid the δ phase disappears and a part of it turns into the γ
solution. phase by heating to above 520 °C, as shown in Figure
4. Furthermore, the γ phase turns into the β phase by
2.2 Phase transition of copper-tin alloy heating above 586 °C. The beta (β) phase is BCC and
The crystal structure of the copper-tin alloy changes is a supersaturated solid solution, which shows high
in accordance with temperature and composition. The malleability. The gamma (γ) phase is an intermetallic
copper-tin alloy can exist as various phases denoted by compound based on BCC. It is softer and more plas-
α, β, γ, δ, ε and η, each of which has a different crystal tic than the δ phase, although it is less suitable to work
structure. Figure 3 shows a schematic illustration of than the α phase.
the α, β and γ phases. Figure 4 shows the copper-tin
(Cu-Sn) binary alloy phase diagram (Saunders and 2.3 Fabrication method and microstructure
Miodownik 1990). This diagram indicates the phases Usually, solid metallic materials are composed of
when a bronze alloy with a certain composition is many small crystals (or grains). Such a material is
heated at a certain temperature for a certain time until called a polycrystalline material. The morphological
it attains equilibrium. When tin is added to copper, characteristics of the grains vary according to the pro-
some copper atoms are replaced by tin atoms (Figure cessing history. In other words, we can estimate the
2). The copper atoms form a crystal with a FCC struc- fabrication method used for metal wares by observing
ture. The FCC structure has various slip systems and the microstructure using optical microscopy and/or
shows high malleability due to its highly symmetric electron microscopy.
structure. Even if copper is replaced by tin, the FCC Figure 5 shows optical micrographs of the Cu-Sn
structure is maintained until a specific composition is alloy subjected to various processing methods, includ-
reached. This is called the α solid solution (Figure 3-a). ing casting, forging, and heat treatment (quenching).
Tin is soluble in the α solid solution up to a maximum The microstructure of the cast alloy contains the
of 16 %, and it keeps this state by rapid cooling, even dendritic α phase. When hot worked, the dendritic α
at room temperature. This state is called a supersatu- phase changes to an equiaxed crystal with annealing
rated solid solution. It naturally has high malleability twins. When quenched, the α and β eutectoid phase
because the FCC structure is retained. However, transforms into the β martensite phase. When cold
when a high-tin bronze, with tin content more than worked, slip lines are observed in the microstructure.
about 10 %, is molten and is cooled, an extremely Figure 6 shows changes in form for the production
fragile intermetallic compound phase called the δ of a high-tin bronze bowl. P1 is a cast plate from
phase appears in addition to the α phase. The δ phase which the production starts. This form changed to
has a complex structure and is fragile like glass. It is so P2, P3, and P4 as it is hammered on a mortar with a
complex that it is difficult to show a simple schematic hollow depression. A photograph of its cross-section

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Figure 3 Position of copper and substitutional tin atoms in typical Cu-Sn alloy phases
(a) α phase: tin takes random position in FCC copper crystal, (b) β phase: tin takes random position in BCC copper crystal, (c) γ
phase: tin takes a body center position in BCC copper crystal orderly
* Bold outline circle shows body center of unit cell

Figure 4 Cu-Sn binary alloy phase diagrams


(N. Saunders and A.P. Miodownik in T.B. Massalski ed. 1990. Binary Alloy Phase Diagrams. ASM, Ohio. pp. 1481-1483)

demonstrates that the plate became thinner and thin- et al. 2010).
ner. After quenching, P4 is changed to P5. The metal
structure in Figure 6 shows that P1 is composed of a
dendritic α phase and a α + δ eutectoid phase. In the 3 MICROSTRUCTURE AND FORMING
metal structure shown in P2, after forging of P1, the METHOD OF INDUS COPPER WARES
shape of the α phase became isometric from dendrit-
ic, and annealing twin formation in the α phase was Around 2600 ancient sites of the Indus civilization
observed. P5 is a sample after quenching. The metal have been found. Among them, 147 sites have been
structure was composed of the α phase and the β mar- excavated as of 2010 (Uesugi 2010). The sites of Far-
tensite phase, while the δ phase disappeared (Mifune mana (29°02' N; 76°18' E) and Mitathal (28°53' N;

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Figure 5 Changes in microstructures of Cu-22%Sn alloy.

Figure 6 Example of the changes in form and microstructure of bronze bowl with the fabrication process.
This sample is a Korean high tin bronze bowl made by hot forging of cast Cu-22%Sn alloy plate. P1 is the starting material made by
casting. As the forging process proceeds, the form and microstructure change from P2 to P5. The last sample (P5) was quenched
into water at the end the process.

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76°10' E) are two of these ancient Indus sites, and perature of copper alloys and improve their castability.
excavated copper objects have been obtained from The hardness of copper alloys also increases upon the
them. addition of arsenic.
The author had a chance to analyze these copper The bangles FRN-9 and FRN-29 have unique
objects with the help of Indian and Japanese co-re- compositions among the copper wares listed in Table
searchers, from 2009 to 2012 (Nagae 2011; Manmo- 1, in that both contain a considerable amount of zinc.
han Kumar et al. 2012). Here I show chemical analysis Zinc changes the color of copper from red to a gold-
data and microstructures of excavated artifacts from like yellow. It also decreases its melting point and
those sites in order to reveal how they were produced. increases its hardness.
The forming method (casting or forging) and the heat
treatment used were clarified for each. 3.3 Microstructure and fabrication processes
Sixteen samples (eight each for Farmana and Mitath-
3.1 Samples and experimental methods al) were selected for microstructural observations to
Forty-two objects were subjected to analysis, in- determine the fabrication process involved.
cluding rings, bangles, rods, arrow heads, and axes. All
were covered with a thick corrosion layer. All of these FRN-6: a ring (Figure 7-1)
analyzed samples have surviving metallic regions. A The copper matrix was a polygonal α phase with an-
small specimen was cut from the interiors of each of nealing twins. The long thin transversely elongated
these samples to observe the uncorroded metal region. phases correspond to Cu2S, due to the presence of
These specimens were mounted in resin and their sur- sulfur as an impurity. This ring was made by forging a
faces were polished to remove all scratches. The result- cast metal plate and subsequent annealing.
ing mirror-like surfaces were etched using a solution
of 60 ml of ethanol, 10 ml of hydrochloric acid, 30 ml FRN-8: a fish hook (Figure 7-2)
of distilled water, and 2 g of ferric chloride. The micrograph indicates a polygonal α phase with
Samples for metallographic observations were annealing twins. The small dark spots are due to inter-
examined by optical microscopy (OM) and scanning nal oxidation. A small amount of oxygen was detected
electron microscopy (SEM) or an electron probe by EDS in this sample. This object was also made by
micro-analyzer (EPMA). Quantitative analysis of the forging a cast metal plate and subsequent annealing.
Farmana and Mitathal artifacts were carried out using
SEM-EDS and EPMA, respectively. FRN-9: a bangle (Figure 7-3)
This object was made of brass. As shown in Figure
3.2 Chemical compositions 7-3-b, the microstructure consists of a polygonal α
The major chemical compositions of the analyzed phase with annealing twins. This object was so severe-
samples are shown in Table 1. Most of them (except ly corroded that even grain boundary corrosion can
for FRN-9 and FRN-29) are made of copper contain- be observed. This bangle was also made by forging of a
ing a small amount of impurities or alloying elements. cast metal plate and subsequent annealing.
Tin was not observed in most of the samples except
for the bangle (FRN-9). Fifty percent of the Farmana FRN-11: a rod (Figure 7-4)
samples and 95 % of the Mitathal samples contained This rod was made of copper containing sulfur and
arsenic. Arsenic is known to decrease the melting tem- iron as impurities. The microstructure consists of a

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Figure 7-1 (a) Ring, FRN-6 and (b) microstructure

Figure 7-2 (a) Fish hook, FRN-8 and (b) microstructure

Figure 7-3 (a) Bangle, FRN-9 and (b) microstructure

Figure 7-4 (a) Rod, FRN-11 and (b) microstructure

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Figure 7-5 (a) Bangle, FRN-20 and (b) microstructure

Figure 7-6 (a) Axe, FRN-27 and (b) microstructure

Figure 7-7 (a) Axe, FRN-28 and (b) microstructure

Figure 7-8 (a) Bangle, FRN-29 and (b) microstructure

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Figure 8-1 (a) Rod, MTL-3 and (b) microstructure

Figure 8-2 (a) Axe, MTL-14 and (b) microstructure

Figure 8-3 (a) Bangle, MTL-24 and (b) microstructure

Figure 8-4 (a) Bangle, MTL-26 and (b) microstructure

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Figure 8-5 (a) Bangle, MTL-29 and (b) microstructure

Figure 8-6 (a) Bangle, MTL-704 and (b) microstructure

Figure 8-7 (a) Bangle, MTL-705 and (b) microstructure

Figure 8-8 (a) Blade, MTL-950 and (b) microstructure

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Table 1 Chemical compositions of the samples excavated from the Farmana and Mitathal sites.

Chemical composition (%) Analysis


No. Object
S Fe Ni Cu Zn As Sn Pb equipment
FRN- 1 ring - - - 98.0 - 2.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 2 bangle - - - 100.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 3 arrow head - - - 100.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 5 ring - - - 98.0 - 1.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 6* ring 0.9 - - 99.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 7 ring - - - 100.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 8* fish hook - - - 100.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 9* bangle 0.4 1.0 - 81.0 14.0 - 3.0 - SEM-EDS
FRN- 11* rod 0.5 0.3 - 99.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 12 rod - - - 98.0 - 2.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 14 rod - - - 99.0 - 0.5 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 18 bangle - - - 98.0 - 2.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 20* bangle 0.3 0.4 - 97.0 - 2.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 22 bangle - - 100.0 - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 23 bangle 0.2 - - 97.0 - 3.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 25 wire cave - - - 99.0 - 1.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 26 hook? - - - 100.0 - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 27* axe - - 1.0 97.0 - 2.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 28* axe 0.5 0.6 - 95.0 - 4.0 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 29* bangle - - - 84.0 16.0 - - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 30 nail? - - - 99.0 - 0.8 - - SEM-EDS
FRN- 31 rod - - - 100.0 - - - - SEM-EDS
MTL-3* rod 0.2 0.4 - 97.2 - 2.1 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-14* axe 0.6 0.5 - 96.1 - 2.5 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-16 bangle 0.1 0.5 - 96.9 - 2.3 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-20 bangle 0.3 0.5 - 96.8 - 2.3 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-21 bangle 0.7 1.4 - 96.0 - 1.9 - - EPMA
MTL-22 bangle 0.3 0.5 - 96.0 - 3.2 - - EPMA
MTL-24* bangle 0.1 0.7 - 94.2 - 3.9 - 1.1 EPMA
MTL-25 bangle 0.3 0.1 - 98.2 - 1.3 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-26* bangle 0.2 0.2 - 96.1 - 3.6 - - EPMA
MTL-27 bangle 0.3 0.1 - 96.7 - 2.9 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-29* bangle 0.1 0.3 - 99.1 - 0.4 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-30 bangle - 0.1 - 94.7 - 3.1 - 2.1 EPMA
MTL-31 bangle 0.1 0.4 - 97.4 - 1.8 - 0.2 EPMA
MTL-35 bangle 0.6 1.1 - 96.0 - 2.2 - - EPMA
MTL-37 bangle 0.5 0.6 - 95.8 - 3.0 - - EPMA
MTL-45 indeterminate 0.2 0.5 - 99.2 - - - - EPMA
MTL-704* bangle 1.0 0.4 - 94.2 - 4.3 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-705* bangle 1.0 0.1 - 94.6 - 4.2 - 0.1 EPMA
MTL-950* blade 0.1 0.3 - 96.8 - 2.6 0.2 0.0 EPMA
MTL-1214 bangle 0.5 4.1 - 93.6 - 1.8 - 0.1 EPMA

polygonal α phase with annealing twins. The small large amount of arsenic and small amounts of sulfur
dark gray spots correspond to Cu2S inclusions. This and iron. The matrix is a recrystallized α phase with
rod was made by forging a cast metal plate and subse- annealing twins. The dendritic etched region may be
quent annealing. caused by arsenic segregation. This bangle was made
by the forging of a cast metal plate and subsequent
FRN-20: a bangle (Figure 7-5) annealing.
This bangle was made of copper containing a fairly

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

FRN-27: an axe (Figure 7-6) 4 MICROSTRUCTURE AND


This object was made of copper containing arsenic FABRICATION METHOD OF
and nickel. The matrix is a recrystallized α phase with COPPER WARES IN THE IRON AGE
annealing twins. This axe was also made by forging a
cast metal plate and subsequent annealing. Subsequent to the Bronze Age, the Iron Age occurred
during the second millennium BC in India. Bronze
FRN-28: an axe (Figure 7-7) artifact making technology should have been more
This object was made of copper containing a large developed. The site of Mahurjhari, a megalithic bur-
amount of arsenic and with sulfur and iron impuri- ial-cum-habitational site (21°14' N; 79°30' E) in the
ties. The matrix is a polygonal α phase with annealing Maharashtra state was dated to about 800 BC. Many
twins. This axe was made by forging a cast metal plate bronze artifacts such as bowls, bangles, and horse or-
and subsequent annealing. naments were excavated from this Iron Age site. Here,
I show the microstructural data for bowls that were
FRN-29: a bangle (Figure 7-8) among the excavated samples.
This object was made of brass. Figure 7-8-b shows that
the microstructure consists of a polygonal α phase 4.1 Chemical composition
with annealing twins. This bangle was made by forg- The chemical composition data of eight bowls are
ing a cast metal plate and subsequent annealing. listed in Table 2. Most of the analyzed samples were
made of tin bronze containing impurities such as sul-
MTL-3 through MTL-950 fur or iron. Sample No. 2 contained more than 15 %
All of these objects from Mitathal are made of arsenic tin, which is within the range (15-25 %) of heat-treat-
copper which contains sulfur, iron, and lead as impu- able high-tin bronze.
rities. The microstructure is a recrystallized polygonal
α phase with annealing twins. All the samples were 4.2 Microstructure of two selected bowls
made by forging a cast metal plate and subsequent Microstructural observations to determine the fab-
annealing, the same fabrication method as for the Far- rication process were carried out. Figure 9 shows the
mana objects. appearance of two select bowls (MHR-2 and MHR-
8) and their microstructures.
3.4 Summary of metallographic analysis MHR-2 is made of a heat-treatable high-tin
of the Indus copper wares bronze. Polygonal α phase crystals with anneal-
A micrographic study was carried out on copper wares ing twins and β phase were observed. The β phase
excavated at Farmana and Mitathal in northern India. was formed by quenching. This bowl was made
Although the samples were severely corroded, 42 sam- by hot-forging a cast metal plate with subsequent
ples were obtained for chemical composition and 16 solution heat treatment and quenching. MHR-8 is
for microstructural observations. Most of the objects a bronze object which is nearly qualifies as a high-
were found to be made of copper containing sulfur, tin bronze. The matrix was a polygonal α phase
iron, and arsenic. Two of the objects were made of with annealing twins. The long, thin, transversely
brass. All were produced by forging a cast metal plate elongated phases correspond to Cu2S formed due to
and subsequent annealing. the presence of sulfur as an impurity. Based on the
observation of elongation of this brittle sulfide phase,

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Figure 9-1 (a) Bowl, MHR-2 and (b) microstructure

Figure 9-2 (a) Bowl, MHR-8 and (b) microstructure

Table 2 Chemical compositions of the samples excavated from the Mahurjhari site.

Chemical composition (%)


No. Object analysis equipment
S Fe Ni Cu Zn As Sn Pb
MHR-1 bowl 0.4 0.3 - 88.6 - 1.4 9.3 - SEM-EDS
MHR-2 bowl - 0.3 - 84.2 - - 15.5 - SEM-EDS
MHR-3 bowl 0.1 0.3 - 91.9 - - 7.7 - SEM-EDS
MHR-4 bowl 0.3 0.2 - 90.6 - 3 5.8 - SEM-EDS
MHR-5 bowl 0.1 0.3 - 91.9 - - 7.7 - SEM-EDS
MHR-6 dish 0.7 0.6 - 87.3 - - 11.3 - SEM-EDS
MHR-7 bowl 0.7 0.5 - 91.2 - - 7.7 - SEM-EDS
MHR-8 bowl 0.6 0.2 - 89.6 - - 9.7 - SEM-EDS

this bowl was likely made by forging a cast metal plate Mohenjodaro and Harappa contained more than 15
while it was hot from the annealing heat treatment. % tin (Singh 2008), but it is unknown whether these
high-tin bronzes were actually quenched because
4.3 Summary of metallographic analysis of there is very little microstructure information for
copper-based metal wares in the Iron Age these high-tin bronzes, although they have been ana-
Hot-forging and quenching heat treatment were lyzed for their chemical components. Which is earlier
used for making bronze wares. The quenching is an for applied quenching techniques, high-tin bronzes
especially unique method which has been more com- or carbon steels? In order to reveal the origin of the
monly used for steel making. A few artifacts from quenching technique, more artifacts from more an-

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

cient sites need to be analyzed. the visible image of a pile of six plates being forged.
The upper images were taken at the beginning of the
forging process, which started when Appuni judged
5 CONTEMPORARY that the bowls placed on a furnace had been heated
HIGH-TIN BRONZE MAKING to the appropriate temperature. The temperature on
average was 740 °C. The lower thermo image in Figure
Heat-treatable high-tin bronze making still remains 11-1 was taken when the forging was suspended once,
in present day India. The author surveyed two work- immediately before it was reheated. As seen in the
shops in Kerala in September 2009. These manufac- lower visible image, forging was briefly stopped when
ture bowls and gongs by hot-forging of heat-treatable a reddish color still remained. The temperature on
high-tin bronze in a traditional way. The survey average was 630 °C at this point. In total, 40 data were
results of the temperature measurement during the obtained during the process of bowl manufacture, and
hot-working and the heat treatment for quenching are they showed a 780 °C maximum, 556 °C minimum,
described below. and 680 °C average temperature. It is known that the
Cu-22Sn alloy begins to transform to a liquid phase at
1) E.T. Appuni (Kaladiparambil Cheruku- 798 °C during heating as shown in Figure 4. So these
dangadu, Palakkad Dist., Kerala, India) temperatures can be considered to be fairly high. The
Bowls, spoons, disk gongs, and cymbals are manufac- average temperature in the hot-forging of the bowls
tured in E.T. Appuni’s workshop. Figure 10-1 shows was almost the same as or only slightly lower than
high-tin bronze ware making at Appuni’s workshop. that for the gongs and cymbals, for which fracture
The temperature of hot-working was measured during occurred. Nevertheless, the bowls were not fractured.
the manufacture of bowls by the workshop owner and Bowls shaped by hot-forging without post heat
his three relatives. First, molten Cu-22Sn is poured treatment are brittle because their metal structure
into a hollow in a sand mold to make a disk, a starting contains an extremely fragile intermetallic compound
material which is then forged into a bowl. Cast disks δ phase. To exclude the δ phase and to strengthen the
are forged in order to form gongs, cymbals, or bowls. material, quenching was carried out. The temperature
The temperature was measured 15 times during the of the bowl before quenching was 730 °C on average.
gong forging process. The highest temperature was This temperature is within the range wherein the δ
764 °C and the lowest was 600 °C with an average of phase completely transforms to the β phase.
685 °C. The edge of the disk gong was fractured. Next,
11 data were obtained during the forging of a cymbal. 2) K.R. Suku (ALA FORGE: Koparampathu Ka-
The temperature of hot-working of the cymbals was davaloor, Trissur District, Kerala, India)
753 °C maximum, 575 °C minimum, and 687 °C on Suku’s workshop (ALA FORGE) mainly manufac-
average. This process was carried out at a relatively tures gongs and cymbals. He is a distant relative of
high temperature and, as in the case of the gong, frac- Appuni. Four brothers including him work there to-
ture occurred while forming a central dent. gether.
Next, bowls were produced. The bowls were Firstly, a disk was cast, as in the case of Appuni’s
formed by forging a pile comprising a few plates. workshop. The disk was then shaped by hot-forging.
As this process progressed, more plates were added The temperatures during hot-working to form a gong
to one pile. Figure 11-1 shows a thermal image and were measured and the results are as follows. The

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Takekazu Nagae Indus copper wares

Appuni's workshop Molten metal is poured into a hollow to make a disk.

A pile of two disks is hot-forged by three persons As the making process proceeds, a pile of six bowls is hot-forged.
in the early stage of the fabrication process.

Heated bowls are quenched in water. Finished products which were scraped after quenching.
Figure 10-1 High tin bronze ware making at Appni's workshop

upper left image in Figure 11-2 is a thermal image had already disappeared at this point, as seen in the
of a disk at the beginning of forging (and the upper visible image (lower right photo). Fifteen measure-
right photo is its visible image). The temperature of ments were taken during hot-working of a gong at this
the disk was 632 °C on average. The lower left thermal workshop. The results showed a 725 °C maximum,
image was taken when forging was suspended once, 546 °C minimum, and 646 °C average temperature.
immediately before it was re-heated. This temperature This demonstrates that the gong was formed within a
was 546 °C on average. The reddish color of the disk considerably lower range of temperature compared to

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Suku's workshop Material is heated on a charcoal fire for forging

A disk gong is hot forged on a stone anvil by two persons After quenching, cold forging is carried out to fix its
deformation

Face of a disk is scraped using steel tools. By listening to the sound, the positions to pierce holes for
hanging rope are decided.
Figure 10-2 High tin bronze ware making at Suku's workshop (ALA FORGE)

Appuni’s workshop. It is known that the most suitable The gong was also quenched to improve its brit-
temperature range for hot-working of the Cu-22Sn al- tleness at room temperature. The temperature of the
loy is 530-650 °C. Although the results show that the gong before quenching was 725 °C on average, which
temperature in this case was slightly higher than this was almost equal to that in Appuni’s workshop.
range, no fracture was observed in the manufacture of In South Korea, the manufacture of a high-tin
the gong. bronze, called Korean bronze ware, or “Yugi”, is still

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Takekazu Nagae Indus copper wares

Immediately after the beginning of forging, Visual image


the average temperature is 740 °C

Immediately before suspending forging for re-heating, Visual image


the average temperature is 630 °C
Figure 11-1 Thermal images of bowls during hot working by Appuni in Palakkad, India

Immediately after the beginning of forging, Visual image


the average temperature is 632 °C

Immediately before suspending forging for re-heating, Visual image


the average temperature is 546 °C
Figure 11-2 Thermal images of bowls during hot working by Suku in Kadavaloor, India

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Current Research on Indus Archaeology

Table 3 Hot working temperatures and quenching temperatures applied for high tin bronze making.

Hot working temperature Quenching


Craftsman Forming process Temperature Object
Max. (°C) Min. (°C) Ave. (°C) (°C)
764 600 685 - GONG
E.T.Appuni
(Palakkad) Traditional hot forging 753 575 687 - SYMBAL
INDIA
780 556 680 730 BOWL
K.R.Suku Traditional hot forging 725 546 646 725 GONG
Go Tae Ju
Traditional casting - - - 672 BOWL
(Bonghwa)
Kim Sun Ick
Traditional casting - - - 645 BOWL
(Bonghwa)
Traditional hot forging 713 566 657 736 GONG
Kim Il Oung
KOREA (Gimcheon) Contemporary method
730 589 647 740 BOWL
(spinning)
Lee Sun Sul Contemporary method
(Geochang) (mechanical press) 672 626 653 653 BOWL

Han Sang-chun Traditional hot working 698 581 628 - BOWL


(Boseong) of ban-bangjja

carried out today. In total, the authors surveyed five excavated from ancient sites in the Indus valley in
2)
Yugi workshops in February and August 2008 . Table India, Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Lothal, and Rangpur,
3 show the results of hot-forging and quenching tem- have been summarized by J.M. Kenoyer and H.M-L.
peratures obtained in these Korean high-tin bronze Miller (1999). Mostly, these artifacts are made of pure
workshops for comparison. copper containing small amounts of impurities or al-
In India, the temperatures were relatively high loying elements. Sometimes, tin bronzes are detected,
in both the forging processes and heat treatment for containing less than 15 % tin. An article by R.N. Sin-
quenching because work was done in semi-outdoor gh (2008) reports a few heat-treatable high-tin bronze
workshops during bright daytime. Possibly because wares (base) from Mohenjo-daro, but it is unknown
of this, fractures occasionally occurred in a workshop whether these were actually heat treated or not be-
which does not operate regularly. For the Korean cause no microstructural data was given. Almost all of
bronze ware, both central and local governments pro- the Indus crafts from Farmana and Mitathal presented
vide support, for example the designation of intangi- in this article are also copper wares, except for two
ble cultural properties, in order to promote traditional brass bangles.
technologies. Thus the workshop room in Korea is In the Iron Age, more and more bronze wares were
deliberately made dim in order to judge the tempera- popularly used and heat-treatable high-tin bronze
ture of the products more precisely by their color, and appears. The origin of the fabrication method of
the work was performed near the temperature most heat-treatable high-tin bronze is still unclear; however,
suitable for the Cu-22Sn alloy. the technique was transferred to east Asia and finally
reached the Japan archipelago with time. Although
heat-treatable high-tin bronze making is almost ex-
6 SUMMARY tinct in Japan, it remains alive in Korea, Myanmar,
Indonesia, and India today. The fabrication technique
The chemical composition data of 185 metal artifacts of heat-treatable high-tin bronze is very unique, since

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Takekazu Nagae Indus copper wares

it employs hot-forging and quenching. Quenching is Nagae, T. 2011. "Compositional and Microstructural Analy-

well known as a typical heat treatment for steel. This sis of Copper Wares Excavated at Farmana", in V. Shinde, T.

heat treatment in the case of steel and high-tin bronze Osada and Manmohan Kumar eds. Excavations at Farma-
na, District Rohtak,Haryana,India 2006-2008. Indus Pro-
elicits opposite results. The hardness of steel drasti-
ject, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto.
cally increases after quenching, whereas the hardness
pp. 801-807.
of heat-treatable high-tin bronze decreases. Thus, the
Manmohan Kumar, A. Uesugi, V. Dangi, Vijay Kumar and T.
high-tin bronze loses its hardness, but it develops
Nagae 2012. Excavations at Mitathal, 2011-12. Purātatt-
toughness upon quenching. When and where the
va 42: 148-181.
quenching technique for steel and high-tin bronze Singh, R.N. 2008. Occurrence of High-tin Bronzes in the
was first developed remains a question. Can the first Middle Ganga Plain: Some Chemical Considerations.
application of the quenching of high-tin bronze be Indo-Kōko Kenkyū 29: 19-31
dated back to the Indus civilization? And to which Kenoyer, J.M. and H.M.-L. Miller 1999. “Metal Technologies
alloy was quenching applied to earlier, steel or high- of the Indus Valley Tradition in Pakistan and Western
tin bronze? India”, in V.C. Piggott ed. The Archaeometallurgy of the

It is important to accumulate the appropriate met- Asian Old world. University University Museum Press,

allurgical analysis of ancient artifacts including Indus Philadelphia. pp. 107-151.

metal crafts in order to reveal the history of techno-


logical advances. Although metallographic analysis
results in some damage to ancient artifacts, we must
continue careful metallographic analysis to reveal the
history of science and technology.

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