Harappan civilization, though not the oldest, is the first known civilization in the Indian subcontinent. Already around 2,700 Harappan and Harappan-related sites have been reported in north-west South Asia – over an areal sprawl of two million square kilometers. Ganweriwala, the largest of Harappan sites in South Asia, covers an area of 250 hectares. Ever since its discovery, more specially during the last few decades, enormous research has gone into the Harappan/Indus Valley tradition of Pakistan and Western India filling in many gaps in our understanding of regional geography, settlement patterns, subsistence, specific technological developments and the chronology of these changes. In 21 recent, well-researched papers, this volume is yet another effort to present an overview of the science, metal technologies and their role in this once-great civilization.
Bringing together eminent scholars engaged in the systematic excavations, scientific studies, and research analysis in the field of Harappan archaeology and allied sciences, this volume shows how, ever since its discovery, archaeologists and archaeo-metallurgists have come upon a good range of metals, including notably copper, gold, silver, lead, tin, iron, bronze and zinc, from various Harappan sites, and how far they could make use of these metals. Supported by extensive scientific and archaeological data, the papers here present the entire tool repertoire of the Harappans, their arts and crafts, as well as their sophisticated, fairly advanced production technology – unambiguously articulated in the animal figures or the figure of a dancing girl and the kind of technological skills the production of these figures involved. Supplementing these papers are over sixty colour plates.
Dr Deo Prakash Sharma is Director, Bharat Kala Bhavan, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi.