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Ceramic Analysis and the Indus Civilization. A Review
Taken from Walking with the Unicorn: Social Organization and Material Culture in Ancient South Asia edited by Dennys Frenez, Gregg M. Jamison, Randall W. Law, Massimo Vidale and Richard H. Meadow. Pages 90-103.

By Alessandro Ceccarelli and Cameron A. Petrie

Jonathan Mark Kenoyer has a long history of work with the ceramic vessels of the Indus Civilization and co-authored the most comprehensive assessments of the pottery from Mohenjo-daro yet attempted (Dales and Kenoyer 1986). For archaeologists, pottery is one of the most significant sources of data, not only for the durability and abundance of ceramic artefacts in the archaeological record, but also for the vast range of information on ancient societies that can be inferred from its study. Amongst various approaches to ceramic analysis, two main methods have dominated the field: the morphological approach, where pottery assemblages are grouped according to macroscopic attributes; and scientific analysis, where ceramics are understood in terms of composition and technologies. Even though the latter approach has been tentatively used in the study of ceramic industries in South Asia since the 1930s, it has become significant only in the past three decades. This contribution reviews the use and development of geochemical and petrographic methods for the study of South Asian ceramic traditions, with special emphasis on assemblages produced and used during the Urban and Post-Urban phases of the Indus Civilization (2500-1600 BC).

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Walking with the Unicorn: Social Organization and Material Culture in Ancient South Asia

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