Harappan Unicorn Seal. Harappa.com
In posts 33 through 37 (insert “Indus Valley” in Search Bar), we focused upon the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC). My personal conclusion as we moved on was that archaeology in the Indus Valley was under-resourced and unlikely to progress substantially until hostilities in the region are tamed. I am not optimistic about the cessation of hostilities, for the underlying conflict appears intractable. Without (1) security from sectarian violence, (2) a sea change in the prevalent local anti-historical animus, (3) local recognition that archaeology is a scientific search for a comprehensive set of artifacts of material culture from a specific time and place, and (4) that archaeology is not rightly framed as a philosophical, political, or religious debate–until these four conditions are met–there will never be enough money for the sufficiently numerous and widespread excavations necessary to increase the probability of decoding the Harappan language. Until the language is revealed, the IVC will remain a material culture whose legacy is defined indirectly by contemporaries.
My prior conclusion remains unchanged because there has been no material breakthrough regarding the above four impediments to progress within the IVC region. However, I discovered there is substantially more horsepower and money being applied to the IVC than I had yet recognized, as an outsider. Once again, we have the Oriental Institute to thank for this update. OI sifts excavations. I sift OI websites.
The gem I sifted out regarding the IVC was a 2010 Oriental Institute video lecture titled Meluhha: the Indus Civilization and Its Contacts with Mesopotamia, by Jonathon Mark Kenoyer, PhD. Without further ado, I highly recommend that you watch that OI video. You will be profoundly rewarded.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke