Guest lecture by Prof. Shereen Ratnagar
“The Bronze Age civilization of Pakistan and India dates from about 2600-1800 BC. It is known for its wide geographic spread, the almost exclusive use of baked brick in Mohenjo-daro its largest city, the use of cloth made of cotton (in contrast to the linen of contemporary Pharaonic Egypt and the wool of Sumer and Babylonia), its stamp seals bearing writing and the images of wild and ferocious animals, for exquisite cubical stone weights of a uniform standard, for characteristic and ubiquitous terracotta ‘cakes’, flat and triangular, occurring in quantity, for long blades of chert quarried on the middle Indus, for a restricted range of copper/bronze tools, and mainly at Mohenjo-daro, not only a large number of deep, brick-lined wells, but also what appears to be a sophisticated street drainage system.”
• Were these elaborate systems of urban drainage maintained by an adequate flow of water, and if so where did this water come from?
• Were they used to carry solid excreta, or were they rather more designed for sullage and storm water management?
Prof. Shereen Ratnagar (Emeritus) was Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History at the Centre for Historical Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and is currently an independent retired researcher living in Mumbai.
She is noted for her considerable work on investigating the factors contributing to the end of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Prof. Shereen Ratnagar was educated at Deccan College, Pune, University of Pune, but has also studied Mesopotamian Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
Ayodhya: Archaeology After Excavation, New Delhi: Tulika (2007)
Trading Encounters: From the Euphrates to the Indus in the Bronze Age, Oxford University Press (2nd edition), ISBN 019568088X (2006)
Mobile and Marginalized Peoples, New Delhi: Manohar (2003)