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Session of June 16

Lecture of Aurore Didier, under the patronage of Henri-Paul FRANCFORT and Nicolas GRIMAL : « Further Research on the Beginning of the Indus Civilization (2500-1900 BCE) in Pakistan. Excavations at Chanhu-daro, Sindh ».

The Indus Civilization studies have seen major advances in the past decades that provided new insight into the characterization of this complex society (2500-1900 BCE) known as the first urbanization phenomenon in South Asia, and also allowed to identify some of the cultures preceding it, particularly in the Pakistani Balochistan thanks to the field-work carried out by Jean-François Jarrige at Mehrgarh and Nausharo. Today, one of the major challenges is to better understand its internal evolution and earliest socio-economic and cultural developments. Overall, the beginning of the Indus Civilization is indeed little-studied in the Greater Indus Valley due to stratigraphic and environmental constraints. Since 2015 the new field-work carried out in the Sindh Province by the French Archaeological Mission in the Indus Basin aims at shedding a new light on the architectural and craft developments during the first period of the Indus Civilization (2500-2300 BCE). This new research which is part of a long and solid tradition of Pakistani-French cooperation in Archaeology is focused on excavations at Chanhu-daro, a site known in the archaeological literature as one of the major craft production centres of the Indus Civilization. Extensive excavations - never been carried out before – in levels dating from the beginnings of the Indus Civilization – have provided the remains of a vast architectural complex ; its plan reveals a new vision of the Indus urbanism. Furthermore, this architectural complex offers for the first time contextualized evidence of intensive craft activities related, among other productions, to lapidary working.

Key-words : Indus Civilization, 3rd Millennium BCE, Urbanization, Chanhu-daro, lapidary working



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