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...MEHRGARH...

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...MEHRGARH...

Post  Bolan on Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:10 am

Mehrgarh, (Urdu) one of the most important Neolithic (7000 BC to 3200 BC) sites in archaeology, lies on what is now the "Kachi plain of Balochistan, Pakistan, and is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming (wheat and barley) and herding (cattle, sheep and goats) in South Asia."

Located near the Bolan Pass, to the west of the Indus River valley and between the present-day Pakistani cities of Quetta, Kalat and Sibi, Mehrgarh was discovered in 1974 by an archaeological team directed by French archaeologist Jean-François Jarrige, and was excavated continuously between 1974 and 1986. The earliest settlement at Mehrgarh—in the northeast corner of the 495-acre (2.00 km2) site—was a small farming village dated between 7000 BC–5500 BC.

Lifestyle and technology

(Musée Guimet, Paris)

Mehrgarh Period II 5500 BC–4800 BC and Merhgarh Period III 4800 BC–3500 BC were ceramic Neolithic (i.e., pottery was now in use) and later chalcolithic. Much evidence of manufacturing activity has been found and more advanced techniques were used. Glazed faience beads were produced and terracotta figurines became more detailed. Figurines of females were decorated with paint and had diverse hairstyles and ornaments. Two flexed burials were found in period II with a covering of red ochre on the body. The amount of burial goods decreased over time, becoming limited to ornaments and with more goods left with burials of females. The first button seals were produced from terracotta and bone and had geometric designs. Technologies included stone and copper drills, updraft kilns, large pit kilns and copper melting crucibles. There is further evidence of long-distance trade in period II: important as an indication of this is the discovery of several beads of lapis lazuli—originally from Badakshan.

Mehrgarh Period VII

Somewhere between 2600 BC and 2000 BC, the city seems to have been largely abandoned, which is when the Indus Valley Civilisation was in its middle stages of development. It has been surmised that the inhabitants of Mehrgarh migrated to the fertile Indus valley as the Balochistan became more arid due to climatic changes.

References:

Hirst, K. Kris. 2005. "Mehrgarh". Guide to Archaeology

Possehl, Gregory L. 1996. "Mehrgarh." Oxford Companion to Archaeology, edited by Brian Fagan. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Coppa, A. et al. 2006. "Early Neolithic tradition of dentistry: Flint tips were surprisingly effective for drilling tooth enamel in a prehistoric population." Nature. Volume 440. 6 April, 2006.

Chandler, Graham. 1999. "Traders of the Plain." Saudi Aramco World.

"Indus and Mehrgarh archaeological mission", The Centre for Archaeological Research Indus Balochistan, Musée Guimet. On line.

Kenoyer, J. Mark, and Kimberly Heuston. 2005. The Ancient South Asian World. Oxford University Press. 176 pages. ISBN 0195174224.

Coppa, A. et al. 2006. "Early Neolithic tradition of dentistry: Flint tips were surprisingly effective for drilling tooth enamel in a prehistoric population." Nature. Volume 440. 6 April, 2006.
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