A large number of animals then must have been kept by the peas ants and

A large number of animals then must have been kept by

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A large number of animals, then, must have been kept by the peas- ants; and inequalities in rural society could well grow on the basis of the num- bers of cattle and other animals possessed by individuals. Moreover, a separate pastoral economy could also now develop, directed to meeting the peasants' demand for animals and their products. Outside the cultivated zone, which, in view of low population density, must have been small in extent, there were large tracts where animals could be bred by semi-nomadic communities for being sold to sedentary populations, along with milk products, wool and hide. Bits of broken pottery with slight mud structures are, however, all that may remain of the possible encampments of such nomads (Valabhi in Gujarat has been identified as one such site). Hunting too was important. The depiction of certain scenes on the Indus seals show that encounters with wild and ferocious animals were a familiar fact of life. The water buffalo could be hunted for meat (Figure 2.4), and the elephant for ivory as well. At Balakot, on the east Baluchistan coast, not far from Karachi, the Indus civilization levels are marked by much greater use of fish and molluscs for food, and this may mean that by now more effi- cient means (better boats and nets) had been devised to exploit marine resources. Incidentally, a fisherman with two nets is shown on a potsherd from Harappa (Figure 2.5). 2.3 Craft Production The Indus civilization was, in the true sense, Chalcolithic. While the bulk of tools, especially cutting and breaking .tools, were still made of stone, tools made of copper now began to play a key role, not only because they could withstand high pressure without breaking, but also because they 28
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The Indus Civilization could help cut stone tools more finely and so make them more efficient. The Indus people deliberately alloyed copper with tin in order to obtain bronze, which is more malleable and strong. They could thus make bet- ter knives, axes and chisels. Whereas 70 per cent of analysed copper artefacts from Mohenjo Daro and Harappa have been found to contain 1 per cent tin (probably the same as found in the natural ore), the remaining 30 per cent had tin ranging from 8 to 12 per cent, which indicates that tin was here deliberately mixed with copper. The proportion of bronze within copper artefacts increases significantly with time at Mohenjo Daro, and this was probably the case in the Indus civilization generally. Nickel, arsenic and lead were also used as copper alloys. Copper was smelted in brick-lined pits, and wax-and-clay moulds were probably used to cast whole or parts of copper and bronze artefacts. These included tools such as razors, knives, chisels, hooks, sickles, saws and axes. The saw is especially noteworthy, though the teeth were irregular and lit- tle more than notches (Figure 2.6).
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