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Wednesday, 09 July 2003

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An in-depth description, discussion and eventual synthesis of the Harappan Tradition.

 

A complex system of trade networks made the Harappans rich and guaranteed access to exotic goods. Internal networks moved every imaginable good throughout the Civilization. Shell, dried fish, and pearls from the coast; copper, tin, chert, precious metals and semiprecious stone from the hill country; and grain, animals, and wood from the rural areas flowed from one area to another, resulting in a nearly homogenous distribution of goods across the face of the civilization irrespective of origin. Networks extended into Central Asia, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian Peninsula. These networks exported every good and luxury available in the Harappan Civilization. It is unclear what was being imported, but it is likely to be wool cloth, fish, and grain.

Conventional theory suggests that an urban center will tend to be surrounded by circular or polygonal shaped fields (Ratnagr, 1993). Mohenjodaro and Harappa are not centered on their respective settlement areas, but were at the apex of fan settlement areas. S. Ratnagr has suggested that these and other large urban centers of the Harappan Civilization acted as gateways or port cities by funneling goods from one area to another.

Dhelvira is a fortified city located on a small island in the Rann of Kutch (Possehl, 1999). It existed, most likely for the regulation and protection of trade between the central populated areas to the north and west with the smaller rural sites in the southeast (Weber, 1999).

There are few sites in Larkana to north or west of Mohenjodaro. This area was and is still the most fertile area of the Sind. Mohenjodaro acted as the of trade routes over Bolan.

Harappa was probably surrounded by pastoralists. Except the small village sites of Chak Purbane Syal and Vainiwal nearest population concentration 150km south at Cholistan No Mature Harappan sites have been discovered to the north and west of Harappa (Possehl, 1984). The large number of prehistoric and historic sites suggests that sufficient work has been completed and that the lack of Mature Harappan remains are more likely be attributable to the nature of settlement in the Mature Harappan.

25 Early Harappan phase sites are known from the Indus/Jhelum daub (Possehl, 1984). Daubs are the raised areas of land between rivers. These sites were used once or for short periods by nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralists. From prehistoric times, the daubs have been forested grasslands. Until the last century, they were known to be inhabited by nomadic and cattle keeping tribes.

The possibility of existence of a continuance of Early Harappan nomadic peoples into the Mature Harappan Period. Dani claimed Hishan Dheri near Pahman Dheir to be of Mature Harappan date. Could they have been around during the Mature Harappan but with Early Harappan attributes? Gateway theory suggests that lower level centers are tributary to a single primary center. Thus the pattern of a gateway settlement system would resemble an elongated fan shape. A gateway settlement can be associated with long distance trade and bulk shipment rather than the retail trade and local exchange patterns associated with a manufacturing base. If they are gateway settlements we can expect to see transport and distribution facilities outweigh manufacturing in the Mature Harappan urban centers.

Gateway theory suggests that lower level centers are tributary to a single primary center. Thus the pattern of a gateway settlement system would resemble an elongated fan shape. Gateway settlement can be associated with long distance trade and bulk shipment rather than the retail trade and local exchange patterns associated with

if H a gateway expect transport and distribution facilities outweigh manufacturing

 

 

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This site was last updated 07/09/03

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