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TRAS - Ethnoarchaeology & the Indus Civilization

Date: Monday, October 9th, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Duration: 2 hours

Location: GODF 102,
Godfrey Anthropology Building,
700 College St, Beloit, WI 53511

Contact: Bill Green, greenb@beloit.edu, x2119

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The Three Rivers Archaeological Society presents Ethnoarchaeology and the Indus Civilization, a presentation by Gregg Jamison, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.

The Indus (Harappan) civilization was one of the world’s earliest urban societies and the first in the South Asian subcontinent. Although the Harappans were literate, their script has yet to be deciphered, so our knowledge of their culture has been informed by archaeology and ethnography. Ethnoarchaeological studies of craft production, distribution, and use provide interpretive models (that are tested with archaeological data) for understanding the relationships between material culture and larger issues of sociopolitical organization and control.

This presentation highlights the significance of ethnoarchaeological research in the Indus, with specific reference to seals. Indus seals (carved stone artifacts with inscriptions and animal iconography) are diagnostic artifacts that provide some of the best evidence we have concerning Indus art, administration, and technology. Dr. Jamison’s research on Indus seals has identified new insights into the organizational dynamics of one of the world’s earliest urban societies and highlights the utility of studying the present to learn about the past.

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