Urban Lithics -- The role of stone tools in the Indus and at Harappa

Author(s): Mary Davis

Year: 2015


Lithics are one of the most common artifact classes encountered at nearly every site of the urbanized landscape of the Indus Civilization of Pakistan and Northwest India. This paper examines the lithic assemblage at the urban center of Harappa (3300-1900 BCE), one of the type-sites of the Indus, focusing on the chipped stone assemblage collected by the HARP excavations from 1986-2001. This assemblage is contextualized within the specialized production and the complex inter-regional distribution system of chert prismatic blades in the Indus. This assemblage illuminates that the lithic use at Harappa was not limited to agricultural or domestic tasks but was integral to many specialized craft productions. Intra-site analysis of these tools was used to address fundamental questions of the political, economic and social organization at the urban center. This paper highlights the utility of lithic analysis, moving beyond inferences about subsistence, mobility, and the limited role that lithics often play in archaeology of complex societies.

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Cite this Record

Urban Lithics -- The role of stone tools in the Indus and at Harappa. Mary Davis. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396300)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;