Aldendorfer and Stanish (1993) have
advocated the use of architectural remains in the identification of
ethnicities. They note that architecture has several advantages over
other classes of archaeological remains including a lack of portability
and high durability in the archaeological record. Ethnic differences are
reflected in the nature, size, composition, and material features of
architectural remains (Aldendorfer and Stanish, 1993).
The utility of
architectural studies are limited by the cost and time involved in the
extensive excavation required to uncover large portions of sites under
investigation (Aldendorfer and Stanish, 1993). In the near future, such
noninvasive subsurface recognizance methods as ground penetrating radar,
side aperture radar, and micro-band space based imaging may reach a
level of sophistication at which we no longer need resort to destructive
excavation to recover data.
The architecture of a site can be divided into three groupings.
Corporate and political structures have in the past been the most
studied. The primarily unit of research would be the household.
In reference to the Harappan Civilization, the accepted
interpretation of the architectural evidence has been that of all
powerful priest/kings ruled over a homogenous empire by wielding
military power from fortified citadels. Their purely military power was
reinforced by the collection and redistribution of grain from granaries
located in the twin capital cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. This
model is primarily personality driven and is not based on published
evidence. The formulator, Sir Mortimer Wheeler based this view on a
perceived parallel with Roman granary sites in Britain (Wheeler, 1968).
Other than several brief articles, he never published his reasoning nor
supporting evidence. A current look at the evidence in no way supports
The Mohenjodaro "Granary" lies on the Stupa Mound next to the Great
Bath. (Diagram) It is 45.5 by 27.2 meters and consists of a series of 33
square brick blocks (Diagram). The blocks were 1.5m high with an
east/west dimension of 4.5 meters and a length between 6 and 9 meters.
They were separated by 0.73m wide brick paved passages. Along the north
side, 2 meters below the passage paving was a 6 meter wide platform
integral to the structure and running its entire length. Sir John
Marshall suggested that this structure served as the ventilation space
for a hamon or hot air bath (Marshall, 1931). Marshall’s discovery of
paving and ash lend further support to this suggestion (Fentress, 1984).
The Harappa "Granary" rests on low mound next to the Indus River and
is surrounded by ordinary domestic structures. (Diagram)
It is 32.1 by 36 meters and consists of two long blocks oriented
east/west and divided by central aisle. (Diagram)
The blocks are subsequently divided into six 15.3 by 5.3 meter units.
The units were each further divided by three short walls each of which
was open to the outside by small vents (Fentress, 1984). It was
surrounded on the south, east, and west sides by a brick retaining wall
(Fentress, 1984). It is unidentifiable as a granary due to a lack of any
particular evidence such as grain or storage jars. Also, it is unlikely
that grain would be stored for extended periods in an area so near the
river and in its flood plain. The center aisle was paved in brick and
may have served as work area (Fentress, 1984). When compared to modern
ethnographic evidence it may have been social or multi functional in
use, acting as a meeting place, general storage, market and manufactory
citadels moved out of Sind Kohistan on to the
Lower Indus Basin beginning in the 4th millennium B.C.E.
Compared city, town, and village plans correlate between size of site
and function of area of site correlate with the site of pre Harappan,
Neolithic, Post Harappan, and Iron Age.
Each site excavated has displayed features not present at the others
(Tharpar, 1973). Harappan culture appeared suddenly at sites (1973). The
large amount of variation in pre-Harappan materials suggests culture
areas (1973). Most large settlement were fortified from the beginning
history of Harappan ceramic studies
The Harappans produced the earliest stoneware in the world (Dales,
aro and Chanhudaro never reached the oldest levels due to a high
water table and the great depth of deposits. Little material was
recovered by Wheeler at Harappa 1947 or at the excavations at
Mohenjodaro. Less was ever published. His primary purpose was the
training of young archaeologists. He set as the goal of his research to
reach the lowest and earliest levels of the cities. As a result, he
uncovered a non-Harappan pottery style now referred to as Kot Diji. He
still conforms to Mackay’s work of 1931. Kot Diji was excavated in the
1960's by Khan to look at the change over time in a rural Harappan
settlement. Mature Harappan finds were described as "typical" and
treated summarily. Finds at Harappa, Kot Diji, and Amri have led to the
establishment of an Early Harappan Phase of development. At Lothal, Rao
fond a local style that was merged with the incoming Mature Harappan.
Black and red ware is found in Gujarat in association with Mature
Harappan ceramics. 1956-1962 At Amri a Early Harappan Phase different
from that at Kot Diji or Harappa. At Kalibangan, Lal and Thapar
uncovered a large Early Harappan site with a local ceramic type termed
Sothi. Allahdino represented a totally Harappan settlement. Fairservis
1973-1983. Balakot Dales 1973-1976.
In the Pre-Harappan Period, diverse cultural and regional traditions
have been recognized. These cultures are primarily defined by the
differences in the ceramic assemblages. There is little apparent
interaction between Amri, Kot Diji, and Kalibangan (Tharpar, 1973).
Amri the same motifs but executed differently (Starr, 1941). The
‘style’ transferred mut not the artist.
At numerous sites there was a continuation before and after the short
lived Harappan Tradition had come and gone. At Rojdi, there was a marked
coexistence of local and regional styles during the Harappan Period
(Weber, 1999). Kot Diji~ as early as 3400 B.C.E. 85% of Kot Diji dates
overlap with 80% of the Harappa dates (Shaffer and Lichtenstein, 1989).
Rehmann Dheri continued into the early second millennium B.C.E. (Shaffer
and Lichtenstein, 1989). numerous complexes- are equivalent to ethnic
The ceramics of Amri and Kot Diji are sparingly found at the type
site of the other (Flam, 1984). At other sites, both wares were well
distributed. Kot Dijian ceramics discovered at Nipper during Jemdt Nasr
Period (3300 to 2900 B.C.E.). Jemdt Nasr ceramics found in Amri Phase at
Ghazi Shah in Sind Kohistan. Lemberg-Karlovsky found Amri and Nal
ceramics in East Iran.
Kulli linked to eastern Iran, Bahrain, and Mesopotamia in the Early
Dynastic Period II (2700 to 2400 B.C.E.)
Qasid Hussain Mullah has recently completed a total survey of the
Thar Desert (Mullah, 2000). He uncovered ceramic evidence for Hakra, Kot
Dijian, and Harappan occupations. He found no evidence for a local
ceramic type. This is reasonable. The earliest habitations or those from
the earliest urban influence are where one would expect to find local
types in the most abundance. These Hakra Period were the temporary camps
of desert nomads. It is unlikely they would have developed ceramics.
The Mature Harappan
at Harappa Dales found stratigraphic and stylistic intermediaries
between Early Harappan and Harappan
The Post-Harappan Jhukar Ware is seen to be an outgrowth of the
Mature Harappan (Fairservis, 1975). It is typified by a sloppy corse
production and a large proportion of vegetable inclusions. It is the
result of a collapse in the industrialized production of the Mature
Harappan. Non specialists, most-likely individual households trying to
relearn and replicate the techniques of past specialists.
Single vessel of non-Harappan manufacture must be noted. It is a
corse fast wheel thrown vessel with no slip but dark reddish-black bands
at the shoulder, hard fired, with grog, pebble, and shell temper.
Mehrgarh- domestic production
MD- domestic and in small bazaars with stalls on periphery of city-
2500BCE- two level updraft kiln
MD- large industrialized production
Ornaments are worn for symbolic, ascetic, ammuletic purposes.
Symbolically, they serve as traditional outward markers of age, sex,
social status, ethnicity, and religious affiliation. Mark Kenoyer
believes that there were regional differences in the way ornaments were
used and discarded. Different types of ornaments were manufactured in
various material qualities (Kenoyer, 1992). This may suggest that the
design was of greater importance than material or that a design may have
had the same meaning despite the status of the individual wearing it.
In the Early Harappan Phase, standard types of adornment were
developed (Kenoyer, 1992). These types quickly and vastly diversified in
the Mature Harappan to meet the need for more markers to identify and
separate the increasingly complex combinations of ethnicity and status (Kenoyer,
One of the most prevalent ornament type used in the Harappan
Civilization was the bangle. They were manufactured from various
materials including; copper/bronze, faience, gold, shell, silver,
stoneware, and terra-cotta (Kenoyer, 1992). Shell bangles were
manufactured from two types of shellfish. Conch bangles were the most
prevalent. The Meretrix casta, an edible bivalve was used in local areas
of the lower tide zone of the Arabian Sea. No Meretrix bangles have been
reported from major Harappan sites (Dales and Kenoyer, 1977). Conch
bangles are more prevalent than those made from Meretrix. They likely
represent a local ornament style either as a variation of Conch bangles
where they are unavailable or as a local ethnic marker.
Kenoyer has recreated bangle manufacturing processes through
experimentation and a careful examination of work areas at the coastal
site of Balakot. Due to the limited distribution of working areas, shell
artifact production was unlikely to be a cottage industry interested in
production for household use (Dales and Kenoyer, 1977). Based on
Kenoyer’s research, a skilled workman could produce about four to six
bangles in a seven hour day. This estimate includes an allowance for
fifteen to twenty percent breakage.
The Harappan Civilization utilized beads of diverse types with vastly
differing manufacturing processes. Beads came in agate, alabaster,
carnelian, faience, jasper, lapis lazuli, serpentine, shell, steatite,
terra cotta, and turquoise (Kenoyer, 1986). Increased demand in
industrial goods due to a dramatic increase in population and wealth
forced bead makers to introduce simpler more cost effective means of
production. The shell beads so popular in the neolithic and Early
Harappan were replaced by the cheaper and easer to manufacture steatite
beads of the Mature Harappan Period (Kenoyer, 1986). Banded carnelian
was extremely popular and may have had religious connotations (Kenoyer,
1986). Several alternative means of meeting demand were utilized.
Methods included: the painting of terra cotta beads; the incising
steatite and filling the cuts with red paste; the joining of layers of
carnelian and alabaster; the bleaching of portions of carnelian beads;
and the manufacture of multicolored faience beads (Kenoyer, 1986).
Faience production was advanced in the Harappan Civilization. They
utilized two techniques for the manufacture of faience paste (Kenoyer,
1994). The first was a mixture of ground quartz, flux, and colorant.
This method resulted in coarse grained faience similar to that of Egypt
and Mesopotamia. The second method began with a mixture of quartz and
colorant that was then partially melted. The resulting frit was then
reground and mixed with flux to create a faience paste which when heated
produced a very fine-grained texture.
The flux used also came in two types (Kenoyer, 1994). First was an
alkaline ash obtained from burning a desert plant called camel-thorn.
The second is natron, a pale naturally occurring hydrous sodium
What is the distribution of manufactory of different bead types and
manufacturing processes? The two types of flux and faience manufacture?
Ornaments were generally highly polished and showed damage from heavy
The decline of the Harappans was partly due to a loss of control over
the trade routes which had integrated the various cultural populations
of the Harappan Civilization.
This culminated in Late Harappan with the disappearance of the
Harappan and the continuance of local types.
In the Thar, a lack of
trade- salt, limestone, Rohri Hills flint, herding, leather
Thar materials at several sites including Harappa (Mullah, 2000).
The Harappan Civilization participated in a world economic sphere,
and traded directly with Mesopotamia, the Gulf, and Central Asia.
Harappan goods have been recovered from numerous sites around the Gulf.
These goods include: ceramics (decorated wares, dish-on-stand, large
storage jars), standardized weights, and etched carnelian beads (Wright,