FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES TO URBAN CONFIGURATIONS- Mehrgarh’s seventh millennium bce occupants made buildings of several rooms for habitation and storage out of mud-brick; they made stone tools for harvesting the barley and wheat they cultivated and for shaping ornaments out of local as well as imported substances; they buried their dead and interred tools and ornaments with them, and sacrificed domesticated goats. The layers above the earliest occupation levels reveal other developments occurring by 5000 bce. Buildings had become larger and some were used exclusively for storage, presumably serving all in the settlement. The number of crafts had increased to an extent that suggested the settlement had begun to specialize in such commodities as basketwork, wool and cotton textiles, handmade pottery and copper ware. None of these changes appears to have been imposed from distant, external sources, but rather they constituted indigenous elabora- tions that continued to the middle of the fourth millennium bce, when yet more new forms of production appeared: wheel-thrown pottery to replace the handbuilt ware; the use of larger copper ingots, with new technologies of mining and smelting; and a consumption of domesticated cattle higher than anywhere else in the contemporary ancient world.
By 3500 bce Mehrgarh covered 75 hectares – a third of a mile square – and served other communities in the Quetta valley that have since become the subjects of archaeological study. In them, Mehrgarh pottery and other prod- ucts are found, as well as the stamp-seals and female figurines characteristic of the Harappan material culture. By this time too – that is, around 3000 bce
– similar evolutionary developments can be documented in neighbouring valleys of Baluchistan and the Indus basin, showing variation around a
coherent set of cultural elements which provided the founda