This post describes the salient features of the Mehrgarh Civilization including its origin, location, and name. It is one of the important ancient civilizations of Pakistan.
Origin, location, and Name
Archeologists trace the origin of the Mehrgarh Civilization back to the stone age. It emerged approximately 7000 – 2500 BCE in Pakistan. It has been named after the village of Mehrgarh village located in Balochistan.
Mehrgarh is near Bolan Pass between the cities of Quetta, Sibi, and Kalat in Balochistan where it emerged and lasted for a period of 5500 years.
What were the main features of the Mehrgarh Civilization?
The salient features of the Mehrgarh Civilization were as follows:
1. The practice of Farming and herding
The people of the Mehrgarh Civilization practiced agriculture. They domesticated both crops and animals. The animals domesticated in this period included sheep, goats, cattle, camels whereas cultivated crops of this age included wheat, barley, emmer, etc. They also domesticated dates e.g. Jujubes, etc.
The scholars consider the Mehrgarh period as the Early Food-Processing phase. No such shreds of evidence of such agricultural pursuits have been found before this period. In other words, Mehegarh is the first known hub of agriculture among all ancient civilizations.
The people of the Mehrgarh Civilization were very good at crafts. They demonstrated their mettle in flint making, metalworking, bead manufacture, and tanning. Discovery at Mehergarh concerning craft artifacts includes fashioned tools made of copper ore and bitumen lined large-sized containers.
The pottery objects found at Mehergarh show people of this period used potter’s wheel. Moreover, they decorated the pots with motifs of different animals and other sophisticated designs. They used bronze and copper in the later stages for making pottery.
A. Female Ceramic Figurines
The Harrapans practiced ceramic figurines esp. female figurines and pottery with different designs. Excavations have revealed the oldest ceramic figurines in South Asia at Mehrgarh in Pakistan.
B. Lost-waxed technique
The people of Mehrgarh civilization practiced the lost wax casting. They made different objects by making use of different metals i.e. silver, gold, brass, bronze by casting an original model.
An important discovery in this regard at Mehegarh is a wheel-like amulet made of unalloyed copper tracing back to 6000 years.
The people of the Mehegarh Civilization built houses with mudbricks. Excavations have disclosed remains of granaries where the people stored their grains.
5. Forerunner of Indus Valley Civilisation
Mehrangarh civilization was the forerunner of the Indus valley civilization. The people of Mehrgarh moved to the Indus valley with their culture which thereafter evolved and developed into Indus Valley Civilization.
The similarities between different artifacts found at Mehergarh and Mohejodaro support the supposition of its being a forerunner of the Indus Valley Civilization.