The same may be said of seals but for another reason it is likely that the

The same may be said of seals but for another reason

This preview shows page 59 - 61 out of 128 pages.

The same may be said of seals, but for another reason: it is likely that the seals were made for individual owners, and so made according to 45
Image of page 59
THE INDUS CIVILIZATION individual preferences. They were thus presumably made only locally; and yet they all bear strong marks of uniformity in the pictures and characters they contain. At Dholavira, the seals first lacked any inscriptions and had only pic- tures: the writing on seals there appeared only later. Apparently, the craftsmen who first went there could not cut the Indus characters; those who could, came much afterwards. Yet, evidence ofexport of commodities over long distances is by no means absent. For instance, agate and cornelian pieces from the Ratanpur mines south of the Narmada were conveyed not only to Lothal, but also to Kuntasi (on the Saurashtra coast facing Kachchh) and to Chanhu Daro in the middle of Sindh, as raw material for bead-manufacturers there. Gold used by Indus metalsmiths came almost certainly from the banks of the Indus and its tributaries in and near the Himalayas, where gold dust could be collected. (It seems unlikely that the very small quantity of gold found in the Indus sites came from the far-off Karnataka mines.) Specialized products, like faience, which were relatively rare, and articles made of shells, mainly worked in cen- tres near the coast, were also clearly items of long-distance trade. The Indus river system made for easier transportation, though the downstream (southward) movement by boat was naturally easier than the up- stream (northward). There could be some traffic also on the Ghaggar-Hakra river, now dry, but then flowing down to about the middle of Bahawalpur district. In the south it is possible that a riverine connection existed, at least seasonally, between the Eastern Nara, a branch of the Indus, and the mud flats near Lothal, by which small boats could carry cargo: this might explain the importance of Dholavira, a notable town, placed in what is today an isolated island in the Rann. Carts and pack-oxen could cover some land sections of long-distance routes, for example, between Harappa and Kalibangan, butsuch transport must have been more expensive than that by boats. It is likely that most long-distance commerce was undertaken by individual merchants. In the warehouse at Lothal, 65 seal impressions ( deal- ings') on terracotta pieces have been found, which often bear on the other side impressions of mats, cloth or twisted fibre, showing that each of these seals was put on reed-mat or cloth tied to the mouth of a jar containing merchan- dise. None of the warehouse sealings matches any seals found at Lothal; so it has been inferred that the items on which these were affixed (and which were apparently burnt in a fire) had been brought to Lothal from other places in the Indus territory.
Image of page 60
Image of page 61

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 128 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture