Sindh (Pakistan) is very rich in lithic resources that were exploited in prehistory at least since the Acheulian Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age Indus Civilization. This activity left behind impressive archaeological evidence consisting of chert mines, chipping floors and blade/bladelet workshops, whose preservation is unfortunately challenged by present-day industrial works. The evidence is seriously risking of disappearing before it can be fully documented and understood by archaeologists. During the last twenty-seven years the explorations of the Italian Archaeological Expedition focused on three main chert sources: the Rohri Hills, Ongar, Daphro and Bekhain Hills, and Jhimpir. However, they are not the only ones known to date in Sindh that were intensively exploited during the development of the Indus Civilization. Although the economic importance of chert exploitation of the Indus Civilization has often been underestimated by most archaeologists, as it is evident reading the published narratives about its handicraft, trade and production, there is little doubt that this raw material played a fundamental role in the economy of the Indus cities, also as main alternative to metal for making well-defined tools for specific handicrafts. This paper summarizes the results of twenty-seven years of fieldwork carried out by the Italian Archaeological Expedition in Sindh in search for chert sources and documenting the Indus Civilization chert mining areas and workshops. It considers the available distribution of the chert outcrops, and the way they were exploited, the main characteristics of the lithic resources, their role in the economic system of the Indus world, the different stages of chipped stone tool production, and the available evidence for trade network throughout the territories covered by the Indus Civilization.
|Titolo:||P. Biagi, E. Starnini, R. Michniak 2018 Chert Mines and Chert Miners. The Material Culture and Social Organization of the Indus Chipped Stone Workers, Artisans and Traders in the Indus Valley (Sindh, Pakistan)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|