FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES TO URBAN CONFIGURATIONS

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

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