Mehrgarh

(Soma Khan, Karachi)

Mehrgarh Indus Civilization

Mehrgarh was located close to the Bolan River which provided water for agricultural and personal use and the Bolan Pass which allowed for movement between Balochistan and present day Afghanistan.

Credit of discovery of Mehrgarh goes to a French archeologist couple; Jean-François Jarrige and Catherine Jarrige. In 1974, Mehrgarh was discovered by Jean-François Jarrige and Catherine Jarrige Excavation work on Mehrgarh was carried out in two phases. In 1974 French archeologists discovered some of the earliest evidence of agriculture and village settlements in South Asia on the Kachi Plains, about 30 kilometers from the town of Sibi in Balochistan.

Little is known about the religious beliefs and practices of the Mehrgarh civilization, although extensive burial plots have been unearthed. The Department of Archaeology and Museums in Pakistan submitted the Archaeological Site of Mehrgarh to UNESCO for consideration as a World Heritage Site in 2004.

This Neolithic Civilization, Mehrgarh, thrived immediately preceding the Stone Age from 7,000 to 2,500 BC. After this discovery, Mehrgarh came to be considered the precursor to the Indus Valley Civilization, pushing back the known history of settled life in Pakistan a few thousand years.

Archeologists divide the history of Mehrgarh into several periods. From about 7000 to 6000 BC people in the area began experimenting with growing different wild cereals such as barley and wheat and domesticating animals such as water buffalo and goats. They also settled in villages and began making mud brick houses which continued into later periods.

The period between 6000 to 5500 BC was characterized by the emergence of pottery and improvements in agriculture. Evidence of granaries in the building structure appeared indicating crop surpluses. Cattle emerged as the preferred animal for domestication. Jewelry of beads made from seashells, marble, turquoise and lapis lazuli appeared. The use of semiprecious stones indicates the likelihood of trade with places in Central Asia.

Archeologists divide the history of Mehrgarh into several periods. From about 7000 to 6000 BC people in the area began experimenting with growing different wild cereals such as barely and wheat and domesticating animals such as water buffalo and goats. They also settled in villages and began making mud brick houses which continued into later periods.

 

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