Plant based textiles and basketry at Harappa, Pakistan (3700-1900 BCE)

Author(s): Jonathan Kenoyer

Year: 2017


Excavations at the site of Harappa undertaken by the Harappa Archaeological Research Project between 1986 and 2010 have recovered a wide variety of artifacts relating to plant based textiles and basketry from between 3700 to 1900 BCE. This paper will present the results of the analysis of archaeological evidence and experimental studies used to develop more accurate interpretations of the nature of early plant based fibers and basketry. Woven textile impressed terracotta beads and spindle whorls provide evidence for spinning and weaving from the very earliest occupations at the site during the Ravi Phase (3700-2800 BCE). Spindle whorls as well as coiled and woven basket impressions in the soil have been recovered from the Kot Diji Phase (2800-2600 BCE). During the urban Harappa Phase (2600-1900 BC) charred fibers, pseudomorphs preserved on copper and silver, as well as impressions of textiles in clay and faience provide evidence for wide range of textiles and fibers. Fabric impressions on pottery and actual fibers preserved in clay are also found in the Late Harappan Phase (1900-1300 BC). When combined with the palaeoethnobotanical record from the site, these data provide a unique perspective on the development and changing nature of textile production at Harappa.

Cite this Record

Plant based textiles and basketry at Harappa, Pakistan (3700-1900 BCE). Jonathan Kenoyer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429157)


Geographic Keywords
South Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12131