After more than 80 years of research, the Indus civilisation (c.2600-1900 BC) remains largely enigmatic. In this geographically extensive civilisation, which still has no known monumental art and undeciphered texts, the largest corpus of representational art at many Indus sites is terracotta figurines. The figurines are one of the richest sources of information regarding Indus ideology and society. Unfortunately, the figurines often have been considered selectively without evaluating their archaeological or socio-cultural contexts, resulting in biased interpretations that ignore the richness and diversity of the figurine corpus. Instead, they should be viewed as media of communication in their original social contexts rather than being viewed simply as naturalistic reflections. This research examines the figurines from the urban site of Harappa (c. 3300-1700 BC) as reflections of some of the underlying structures of Indus society and cultural change, focusing particularly on figurines from secure dated archaeological contexts. The figurines are viewed as artifacts whose "social lives" can be at least partially reconstructed through systematic analyses of stylistic and technological attributes and spatial and temporal contexts (usually fill or trash deposits). Comparisons with ethnographic data, historic texts and contemporary ancient societies also inform these interpretations. Sharri Clark holds a Ph.D. and an A.M. in anthropology from Harvard University. She has conducted extensive archaeological and ethnoarchaeological fieldwork in Pakistan, India and Israel and has authored numerous articles. Dr. Clark was recently an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State as well as an Associate of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. She has consulted for archaeological projects and museums and UNESCO cultural heritage projects in Pakistan. Dr. Clark also has a B.S. in computer science and sociology.
Series: American School of Prehistoric Research Monographs
Number Of Pages: 512
Available: 28th June 2013