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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #21
A rarely seen image of deep diggings at Mohenjo-Daro in 1950 gives some sense of the density of urban construction in the city. This is in the citadel area, with the so-called Great Granary or large hall in the background, "gradually engulfed by a clutter of later Indus buildings," although we do not know the stratigraphic relationship between these buildings and the large hall. This is close to the Great Bath, off-screen to the left. The two circular structures are wells. (From F.A. Khan, The Indus Valley and Early Iran, 1964, Plate III)

 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #22
Takht Bhai (or Takht Bahi) is a Parthian archaeological site in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It was first a Zoroastrian complex which, after the later arrival of Buddhism, was then converted into a Buddhist monastic complex. It is dated to the 1st century BCE. The complex is regarded by archaeologists as being particularly representative of the architecture of Buddhist monastic centers from its era. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

There are four main areas of the Takht Bahi complex:

- The Stupa Court, a cluster of stupas located in a central courtyard.
- The monastic chambers, consisting of individual cells arranged around a courtyard, assembly halls, and a dining area.
- A temple complex, consisting of stupas and similar to the Stupa Court, but of later construction.
- The Tantric monastic complex, which consists of small, dark cells with low openings, which may have been used for certain forms of Tantric meditation.

Additional structures on the site may have served as residences or meeting halls, or filled secular purposes. All of the buildings on the site are constructed from local stone, and are mortared with lime and mud.

 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #24
One of the most detailed reconstructions of an ancient Indus gateway, this one on Mound E at Harappa. The reconstruction was drawn by the Harappa Archaeological Research Project.

A series of side rooms were also excavated along the eastern edge of the gateway in 1995. The latest phase of construction also included a large east-west oriented doorway leading through the eastern edge of the gateway. This doorway appears to have constructed with wooden beams with a threshold embedded in the baked brick structure.



The size of these beams can be calculated from the sockets in the baked brick structure, with the upright posts being 33 centimeters by 44 centimeters in cross section and the anchor posts being 25 centimeters by 17 centimeters in cross section. This would give the door dimensions of 2.35 meters wide (measuring from the inside of upright posts) with a height of 3.5 to 4 meters (based on traditional proportions for large doors). Another north-south oriented second inner doorway is found on a second construction phase baked brick structure, but probably reused during the third phase. The sockets for the door posts are 16 cm and 20 cm square with an inside measurement of 1.6 meters wide. Using the traditional proportions for a door gives a height of approximately 2.5 meters. The function of the side rooms is not known from any artifacts, but may have been entrances to the city when the gateway was blocked by the corbeled drain or rooms for officials/guards assigned to the gateway.
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #25
Figurine with flower headdress from Harappa and a reconstructed headdress in gold found with a serving girl found with Queen Puabi at the royal burials at Ur in Mesopotamia ca. 2600 BCE. Note the carnelian beads around her neck whose only source at the time was the ancient Indus civilization.
 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riwat

Riwat (Rawat, Murree) is a Lower Paleolithic site in Punjab, northern Pakistan, providing evidence of Homo occupation that is the earliest outside Africa, dating to 1.9 million years ago. The site was discovered in 1983. The artifacts which consists of flakes and cores made on quartzite. Another site, called Riwat site 55 shows a later occupation dated around 45,000 years ago.
Wow!
 

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http://www.dawn.com/news/707009/soan-river-witness-to-rise-and-fall-of-many-civilisations

Soan River — witness to rise and fall of many civilisations

FROM THE NEWSPAPER — PUBLISHED MAR 31, 2012 09:33PM

It is said that rivers give birth to civilisations and if a river dries up or changes its path, the civilisation also dies eventually. Obvious examples of such cities that have now gone extinct can be found in Cholistan desert where remains of several settlements of Indus Valley civilisation have been found along the dry bed of the ancient river Hakra.

However, those rivers that continue to exist become cradle of history as one civilisation after another rises and falls on their banks. Soan River has proven to be one such asset which has seen the rise and fall of many civilisations and cultures. But as fates have turned, once the site of a prehistoric civilisation, today Soan River has been reduced to nothing more than a sewer and a dump site for our ‘modern civilisation’.

Though Soan is considered to be one of Pakistan’s smaller rivers, this is an important stream of the Potohar region and historically has been the centre of pre-historic Soanian culture.

Emerging from the foothills of Patriata and Murree, Soan River eventually falls into Indus River near Makkar.

“The oldest evidence of life in Pakistan has been found in Soan River valley. It was here that some of the earliest signs of humans have been discovered during the excavations of prehistoric mounds,” said Director of Taxila Institute of Asian Civilization at Quaid-i-Azam University, Dr Ashraf Khan.

According to Dr Khan, Soan River Valley is where 500,000 year old relics of the Stone Age man have been found, identifying it as the place with the earliest human inhabitation in the region.

Soan River has many archeological as well as natural heritage sites along its banks and there is no denying that the areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are a rich den of precious history.

“The historic background of Rawalpindi and Islamabad can be traced back to the Paleolithic period, the oldest stone tools have been reported in Morgah, Sohan and on the banks of River Soan,” said Dr Ashraf.

“The Stone Age men of Soan Valley have been found to organise themselves in a homogeneous society where they formed groups and developed a culture called the Soan Culture,” explained Dr Khan. Beyond people, significant animal remains have also been found along Soan River. Experts reveal that one such discovery has been of a large fossil, probably remains of a rhinoceros, along the bank of River Soan near another historically site, the Pharwala Fort.

Unfortunately, instead of finding more about the hidden treasures around Soan River, these remains are under permanent danger of being destroyed.

Mr Zulminun, a resident of Soan Garden Housing Society, remarked: “Due to sewage disposal and piles of municipal waste being dumped into the river without any hesitation or fear of legal action by the authorities, I fear there will be nothing left for future generations to learn from here.”

Part of the problem is the sheer lack of awareness about the importance of Soan River and its surroundings. Archeological and heritage sites have never been given their due attention by the government and so people remain unaware of the significance of these remains that give clues to our prehistoric past.

Irfan Bhatti, a radio producer and the patron-in-chief of Potohar Adventures Club, condemned the negligence of the authorities for the ongoing damage.

It is not just a matter of destruction of our history, but the river is a natural home for many species: “Birds and animals of Potohar Region naturally make their homes along the river - just like the extinct animals that once lived here. But this window to our pre-historic past is facing increasing pressure from developers and polluters,” he added.

Theoretically, no new project is authorised without its Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports.

Thus when housing and other developmental projects fulfil this legal requirement, they commit that their projects will not cause any harm to environment or heritage.

This means that project planners should assume the responsibility of developing proper sewage and solid waste treatment and disposal systems. But in reality, such planning and development is simply not taking place and EPA and the government keeps its eyes closed to ongoing violations.

This matter needs to be addressed not just because of the significance of these sites but also because their full value has not even been completely discovered yet.

“Detailed scientific excavations are needed on these sites so that a stratified chronology of the history of this region can be established,” said Dr Khan, pointing out the abundant room for exploration and discovery that exists in these areas.

Experts claim that these prehistoric sites have immense value and are worthy of being selected as one of Unesco’s many world heritage sites - but without attention from authorities concerned, they will remain unnoticed and ignored.
 

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SECULARISM
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If we continue to think that Pakistan's history began with the invasion of Bin Qasim, then we will forever have to cede these sites as part of "Ancient India" that just happened to be on our side of the Radcliffe Line. Because Hindus/Buddhists attach strong importance to these sites, it makes us forget that OUR own ancestors were the ones who built these too.
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #31
World Museum Day: Balochistan needs proper museums for its relics, say speakers
By Mohammad Zafar
Published: May 19, 2015
http://tribune.com.pk/story/888621/...s-proper-museums-for-its-relics-say-speakers/

QUETTA: Balochistan needs properly managed museums to showcase its rich collection of artefacts — drawn from one of South Asia’s most ancient civilisations — which are currently on display in the museums of Karachi and Islamabad, speakers said at a discussion.

The discussion was held as a part of the World Museum Day celebrations in Quetta. A large number of students, academics and fans of archaeology attended the event organised at the University of Balochistan by the Geological Survey of Pakistan.



“This day is celebrated to make people aware of their heritage,” said Jameel Baloch, deputy director of directorate of archaeology. The museums hold the key to the links between the past and present society, he said. “The day is marked to encourage archaeological research and excavations,” Baloch added. A treasure trove of artefacts excavated from across the province is on display in various museums of Pakistan.

Although Balochistan has five museums — Quetta, Kech, Sibi, Turbat, Gwadar only Quetta Museum located in Noori Naseer Khan Cultural Complex is functional. The other museums in the province have no staff and no artefacts, antiques or archaeological finds to display, he said.

Over 17,000 artefacts of Balochistan are kept in National Museum Karachi despite the fact that Balochistan has museums to exhibit its cultural heritage, the official said.



Baloch said that the fossils of Balochitherium — one of the largest mammals that ever roamed the Earth were found from Dera Bugti. However, the bones of the five-metre tall herbivorous that weighed over 20 tonnes, almost as massive as the size of three large elephants, were put on display at theNatural History Museum in Islamabad.

He pointed out that Mehrgarh was now recognised as one of the oldest civilisations of South Asia — as established by the findings of several French archaeological missions. The findings of these expeditions are kept in the National Museum, Karachi.

The rich heritage of Miri Kalat and Shahi-Tump, Kech excavated by the late Roland Besenval and team are also kept in the National Museum, Baloch said.

Panah Baloch, an expert of ancient cultures, said the provincial government should appoint staff for the museums of Balochistan. Panah recalled that the then ambassador of France Phillipe Thiebaud had laid the foundation stone for the department of archaeology in the University of Balochistan and that French authorities had assured that it would provide scholarships to archaeology students of the province.
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #32
Mehrgarh is one of the most important Neolithic (6500 BCE to c. 2500 BCE) sites in archaeology. It lies on the Kacchi Plain of Balochistan and is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding.

Early Mehrgarh residents lived in mud brick houses, stored their grain in granaries, fashioned tools with local copper ore, and lined their large basket containers with bitumen. They cultivated six-row barley, einkorn and emmer wheat, jujubes and dates, and herded sheep, goats and cattle. Residents of the later period (5500 BCE to 2600 BCE) put much effort into crafts, including flint knapping, tanning, bead production, and metal working.

 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #33
7000 year old homes of Mehrgarh
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #34
Why does the Silk Road end in sites of early farming, and what about Mehrgarh?



The red line I’ve drawn above on the map above is Silk Road. It’s not perfect but it will do. The Silk Road was an avenue of trade between east and west for several thousand years, perhaps from as early as the second millennium.

People did not travel the length of the Silk Road until medieval times. Before that small movements of people, trading as they went, allowed the transportation of objects over much greater distances.
Centres of origin for farming

The green patch at the Silk Road’s west end is what’s known as the Fertile Crescent. It is the site of the first farming evidence in the world from about 8000 BC. In this location have been found the first domesticated barley, wheat and peas, as well as sheep and goats.

The green patches at the Silk Road’s east end are the sites of the first farming in China, dating to at least 7000 BC. Here people farmed millet (M) and rice (R) together with other crops and animals. The eastern end of the Silk Route, the Hexi Corridor, runs right into the area of ancient millet farming.

There seem to be no animals and plants shared between the two green areas during these early experiments in farming.

The brown dots and areas represent other sites of early, possibly secondary farming. Aq Kupruk may be the location of a highly disputed animal domestication event. However, even if this early domestication is wrong, Aq Kupruk is one of three sites of the earliest known farming settlements away from the farming homelands of China and the Fertile Crescent. The early farming cultures around Jeitun and Aq Kupruk definitely date to at least the 6th millennium BC and Merhgarh back to the 8th millennium.

It is interesting to note that most of these areas of early farming (with the notable exception of Mehrgarh), lie on or near the Silk Road.

However, the problem with superimposing this early farming data on the Silk Road is that the Silk Road is not thought to have existed for another few thousand years.
What does this mean then?

A simple answer is that I don’t know.

If the silk route is simply very young then it could be a coincidence, which is perhaps the most likely scenario.

Alternatively, as the two green areas eventually came to be the centres of early civilisation, these civilisations may simply have become connected by the roughly straight line between them, the Silk Road. It’s interesting to note that the other sites on the map all developed big trading towns but not great civilisations.

If the Silk Road is actually much older than it is generally thought to be then it could be that farming rapidly spread along the route (perhaps from west to east) as farming expanded. However, the route goes through areas have not been farmed until very recent times.

Alternatively, perhaps something like the Silk Road was already there when farming started. This seems very unlikely, as there is no evidence of contact between the two ends of the chain. But I suppose there wouldn’t be, for the reasons I mentioned above.
Mehrgarh

It is interesting to look briefly at Mehrgarh, the one site on the map which is not on the Silk Road. Mehrgarh sits in the Bolan Pass in Pakistan. It is an ancient village on a minor trade route.

Indeed the first farmers here were already trading shells from the coast, lapis lazuli from Badakhshan (far to the north in Afghanistan) and turquoise from either Iran or central Asia. If nothing else, it shows that the early farmers of Mehrgarh were in long distance contact with other people.

It’s interesting to speculate just how old the Silk Route might be. Until I have a better understanding of this, I’ll just repeat that I don’t know.
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #35
The Silent Lanes of Mohenjo-Daro

The Stupa Mound, Mohenjo-Daro
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #36
2. Low Lane, East of Blocks 4 and 7. Inter. III Level. From North. "Low Lane, 4 ft. 10 ins. wide at the Intermediate III level; in the photograph of this lane, the eastern side of Block 4 is seen between the two men."

 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #37
3. "Crooked Lane" South of Blocks 4 and 5, DK Area, G Section. This was excavated by Ernest Mackay, who wrote "Fore Lane along the north of this building was 5 ft. wide at the Intermediate III Level [about 20 feet below ground]. There is some uncertainty about the alignment of the foundations of the building seen on the left in this photograph (the S.E. corner Block 7) as it has only been cleared inside to the to Intermediate II level. Crooked Lane on the southern side of Block 4 was 4 ft. 3 ins. wide but the walls on the opposite side rest on mud-brick filling, as is clearly seen in the photograph. There may have been no contemporary building opposite."

 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #38
Mohenjo-Daro's Stupa Mound before and after excavations



The color photograph is a slightly expanded view of the same area from the same angle. The stupa is to the right outside the frame of John Marshall’s original photograph from the 1920s. The new photograph was taken by Mark Kenoyer on Dec. 8, 2013, when Sindh had a Culture Day celebration, and thousands of people were visiting Mohenjo-Daro to express their cultural pride in their Sindhi heritage. They were carrying flags and wearing Sindhi ajraks and dancing and singing all over the campus, the museum and the site.
 

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Indus Priest King
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Discussion Starter #39
Takht-i-Bhai: A Buddhist Monastery In Mardan

The ostentatious structure and imposing relics of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bhai (Throne of Origins) has captivated a large number of locals and tourists who have flocked to see the ancient site which dates back to early 1st century AD. Listed in the World Heritage List, it is considered one of the most well-structured Buddhist monasteries in Gandhara district.

It is perched about 500 feet atop a small hill, about 2 kilometers east of the Takht Bhai bazaar in Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), once known as the heart of the Gandhara civilization, which attracts tourists, historians, archaeologists and Buddhists from across the world. The Buddhist complex and the village, as locals say, is named after the two wells found on top of the hill near the complex, however, majority believe that takht means throne and bhai means water in Persian language.

“We believe that it was named after the spring located on the left side of the Buddhist site,” Habib khan, a local resident tells Dawn.

The historical site is an archaeological wonder, considered to be significant because of its unique design.

“The site is extremely important for its integrity and unique state of conservation; important also for its antiquity, being built certainly during the 1st century CE, as proven by the important inscriptions bearing the name of Gondophares (20-46 CE),” Director of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan, Dr Luca Maria Olivieri tells Dawn. He says that Gondophares was a Parthian king of the Suren house, from Sakastan, or Sistan (a Suren general defeated the Roman forces in the battle of Carrhae, in today’s Turkey, in 53 BCE, where 20,000 Romas were killed and 10,000 captured).

“Soon after Gondophares, Takht-i-Bahi was under the control of Kujula Kadphises, the first Kushan king. The site remained in use certainly until Late Antiquity (7th CE),” he adds. He says that the site is symbol of architectural complexity of a Buddhist monastic complex, and it should be considered a wonderful introduction to Gandharan Buddhist architecture, a must stop for tourist heading towards Swat.

The grandeur of its architecture and serenity of its location leaves inerasable traces in the minds and hearts of visitors. “It is really a perfect place for those who love history, antiquity and archaeology. The architecture and its engineering is of high class. It really inspires me and I invite every Pakistani to come and see this monument,” says Hamza Iqbal, a tourist from Lahore.

A group of college students from Peshawar were also busy observing various sections of the monastery.

“I am a second year student of Archaeology and seeing this great Buddhist site is a unique experience. The architecture is astonishing, it shows how highly advanced those people were in civil works and engineering,” Junaid Ahmad, an archaeology student tells Dawn.

The influx of tourists is a good source of earning for the local transporters, shopkeepers and restaurant owners especially during the months between September to April.

“During the peak season, we take Rs. 200 to 300 for one side from Takht-i-Bhai bazaar to the Buddhist site and often make seven to ten trips and earn a handsome amount,” says Iqbal Ali, a chingchi rickshaw driver.
 
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