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Archeology and Metallurgical Technology in Prehistoric

Afghanistan, India, and P a & w 1


C. C. LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY
Hasyard University
Recent research in India and Pakistan has gredy increased our knowledge of the Indus Civilization.
Gwgraphically the most widely distributed of Old World fiehistoric cidhations, its origin and decline
are, nevertheless, still litlle understood. The earliest metallurgical technology, represented in the chalco-
lit& cdiures of Afghanistan and Baluchistan, points to an eurly connection with Iran. With the later
inception of the Indus Civilization, mddlurgy, d d v e d apparenlly from the west, is technually an
accomplished craji. Tcchnologud processes and typological occurrences of metal objects are discussed.
The mekd hoards of the Ganges-Jumna are wthout parallel and are seen as a separate melallurgical
tradition wthin India.

T RE have been very few attempts to


synthesize the nature and extent of cul-
tural traits-pottery, architecture, metallurgy,
importance in dealing with the earliest evi-
dences for metal production in the Baluchi-
stan, the Indus, and the Ganges-Jumna cul-
etc.-in the whole area of prehistoric Afghan- tures.
istan, India, and Pakistan. With metallurgy
as its primary focus, this paper is such an at- Though a sophisticated technology of
tempt. In addition to providing the descriptive metal-working in copper and bronze was
detail for the development of a metallurgical known to the people of the Indus Civilization,
technology and the distinctive metal types, lack of coAdence in the stratigraphy of the
the paper deals with the following questions: important sites makes any attempt at tracing
1. What is the evidence for a developing the developmental stages of this craft most
metallurgical technology in this area? difficult. I n the earliest levels of the sites
in the Indus Valley and Baluchistan, a wide
2. Where were the ore deposits located, and range of copper objects appears. Since the
what is the nature of the ores? metallurgical technology in these earliest levels
3. What techniques of production were used was far beyond an experimental stage, we must
by the smiths? look elsewhere-toward Iran and Mesopota-
4. What do we know of the material culture mia-for its origins.
involved-of their bellows, fuel, crucibles, The available evidence for a metallurgical
smelting operations, smiths tools, fur- development in India and Pakistan indicates
naces? (There is a nearly complete an early connection with Iran. There the site of
absence of data here.) Tepe Sialk (Ghirshman 1938), where a se-
quence of developing metallurgical techniques
5. What are the most characteristic metal can be placed in a context of successive levels,
tool types? What are their functions, and provides one of the first examples of a develop-
what behavioral characteristics can be ing metal technology (Coghlan 195 1 :32).
deduced from them? Copper objects of Period 1 3 , dated to around
6. How reliable are these metal types for 4800 B.c., were produced by simple cold-ham-
establishing cultural synchronisms in the mering, as were those throughout Period I1
area? (Wertime 1964: 1260-1262). I n Period 114,
7. To what extent do Indus metal types re- dated to around 3250 B.c., copper objects were
flect those evident further to the west, manufactured in open molds; Period IIIs pro-
and vice versa? vides the first evidence for the use of closed
molds. I n Period IV smelting processes are evi-
These questions-some of which can be an- dent, as well as the development of cire perdue
swered from the available evidence and some techniques (Ghirshman 1938 :16,30,52). The
of which, unfortunately, cannot-are of basic techniques evident above a t Sialk are all
145
146 A merican A nt hropologist [69, 1967
chronologically earlier than their documented for this phase are available, ca. 3000 B.c.?),
appearance in India and Pakistan. and then only in the western part of the
The importance of the Kerman Mountain Baluchistan area: Quetta and Mundigak
area in southeastern Iran to the development (Fairservis 1956:231; Casal 1961:245).
of metallurgical processes has only recently Although the hollow copper tubes found a t
hecome evident. Excavations a t Tal-i-Iblis in Deh Morasi in IIa context are said to resemble
the Mashiz Valley have uncovered crucibles those from later Gawra XI (Dupree 1963: 1161,
that on analysis suggest the presence of the they are also similar to those found in Hissar
earliest-known smelting operations, dated to I1 levels (Schmidt 1937:207, P1.54) at a time
ca. 4000 B.C. (Caldwell and Shahmirzadi 1966: much nearer to the postulated data of ca.
11-13). 2800 B.C. for Deh Morasi IIa. More important
From the excavations at this site i t also and more relevant to the dating of the initial
becomes increasingly evident that this area- appearance of metal tools in this area is the
situated between the better-known cultures of evidence from Mundigak in Afghanistan
Iran to the west and those of the Baluchi (Casal 1961). The achievement of copper-tin
hills to the east-played a major role in the alloying appears for the first time a t Mundigak
dissemination of technologies from Mesopo- in Level 1 1 1 6 (axe with 5% tin, 1961:247); un-
tamia and Iran toward the east. Trade for alloyed copper implements and fragments,
copper ore, in which the Kerman Range is however, appear from the start in almost every
believed to be rich (T. A. Wertime, personal level. Mundigak provides us with the earliest-
communication), may well have stimulated known metal in this area and suggests a date of
this. The recently recovered beveled-rim ca. 3100 B.C. for the inception of a metallurgy
bowls at Tal-i-Iblis, identical to their Mes- in Afghanistan.
opotamian counterparts, attest to such long- Thus, the earliest occurrence of metal in
distance contacts ca. 2800 B.C. (Caldwell and Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan is placed
Shahmirzadi 1966:17). Pottery from the over two thousand years after its first ap-
Valley of Bahk, east of Tal-i-Iblis, at Darityi pearance at Sialk, and over three thousand
and Tappa-i-Ntirabad-collected by Sir Aurel years after its initial appearance in Iran a t
Stein, now in the collections of the Peabody Ali Kosh (Hole 1962:97-148). It is suggestive
Museum, Harvard University, and recently that Dales (1965:261-264, 275) finds strong
studied by the author-suggests strong parallels throughout Phase C among the as-
typological similarities with the wares from semblages of Mundigak I, Salk 111,and Hissar
Tal-i-Bakun (Langsdorff and McCown 1942) I. It is during this period of increasedcontact
as well as those from Chah Husseini, near that metal makes its first appearance a t
Bampur (Stein 1937: 126-131), and Rana Mundigak.
Ghundai I and I1 (Ross 1946:291-315). There seem to be two distinct outside influ-
ences acting on the ceramic styles of Mundi-
PRE-HARAPPAN MATERIALS gak, and these may be reflected in its develop-
IN AFGHANISTAN AND BALUCHISTAN ment of metallurgical technology. After the
Dales (1965) has recently attempted to settlement of the site briefly by seminomadic
build an internal framework, correlating total people, characterized by pinkish handmade
archeological assemblages, in terms of a suc- pottery in Period 11, an influence from the west
cession of phases for Afghanistan, Balu- can be detected in Period 12, with wheelmade
chistan, and the Indus Valley. These phases pottery believed to be similar in some respects
refer to cultural horizons consisting of dis- to Jemdet Nasr ware, painted with hanging
tinctive material assemblages and representing triangles, garlands, and hatched lines (Casal
specific levels of cultural, social, and economic 1964b:76; this attribution is, however, not
,development (1965 :257). Abstract designa- very convincing). This same substratum
tions, alphabetical rather than socioeconomic sees the h t introduction of metals, in the
or technological, were used for these phases form of thin elbowed blades (lamcoud&) of
(A-F). Thus, Phase A encompasses the initial copper (Casal 1961:247). A similar blade is
stages of human habitation in the area-the found in Period I, ( 1961 :Fig. 139, no. l ) , to-
Early Stone Ages. gether with a copper awl (1961 :Fig. 139, no.
Metal appears in Pakistan and Afghanistan 2); presumably both were cold-worked. I n
at the beginning of Phase C (no absolute dates Period I s 4 a t Mundigak the humped bull is
LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY] Archeology & Melallzlrgical Technology 147

introduced, together with Amri influences in simple wavy line designs. Also, the increased
pottery and architecture. These influences use of Amri and Quetta pottery motifs and the
coincide with the initial presence of metal at introduction of the Harappan pipal leaf mo-
.4mri in the earliest levels (Casal 1964a:57 tif suggest that this was a period of increased
ff.), Daless Phase D, which suggests the intro- communication within and to the west of the
duction of metals a t Amri from Mundigak. Baluchi hills. The striking innovation in
Period I1 at Mundigak appears to be one of metallurgy is the introduction, in Period
slow development and growth, resulting per- IIIs,of copper-tin alloying (mentioned above)
haps in the isolation of the settlers from their and of the shaft-hole axe and adze (Casal
western homelands. I n Period IL eyed needles 1961:274 ff., Fig. 140). The shaft-hole adzes
appear, along with tanged daggers, elliptical are nearly identical to those found a t Susa
in section with midrib (Casal 1961:Fig. 139, and attributed to protodynastic levels
no. 3), and a pin with a double volute head, (Deshayes 1960:233, Fig. XXX); the shaft-
the spiral being turned in the opposite direc- hole axes are also similar to those found a t
tion to that of their Eastern Mediterranean Susa ( C a d 1961:Fig. 139, no. 10, 10a;
counterparts (1961 :Fig. 139, no. 4). Deshayes 1960:192, Fig. XXIII, 2).
Period 111, assigned to Daless (1965 :262- I n Period IV at Mundigak the introduction
268) Phase D, introduces the second major of a red-slipped ware with black patterns,
impulse into Mundigak, stemming from the unconvincingly related to Susa Scarlet Ware
northwest, apparently from Iran. This second (Casal 1964b), and the continuation of the
impact can be detected in changes of pottery Iranian cross-hatched designs, as well as of
as well as in the introduction of new metal naturalistic ibexes and partridges, their
shapes. The decoration on the pottery is a stylized counterparts, and floral designs, may
brown-red on pink-white, characterized by mark continuing contact with Iran. The pipal
148 American A~zthro
fologisl [69, 1967
leaf motif introduced in Period I11 continues them lies in the possibility that one (or pos-
in use; it appears, however, to be purely an sibly a number of them) may be proto-Harap-
Indian motif. A mcuflon-headed pin with pan. Although metals are scarce in stratified
slightly widened shaft head (Casal 1961 :Fig. sequences in central and southern Baluchistan,
139, no. 18) is similar to those of Hissar I1 and not reported a t all in the Zhob-Loralai
(Schmidt 1937:205, P1.29). A concave disc region of northern Baluchistan, this is prob-
assigned to this period may have been used as ably due to the limited excavations conducted
a mirror; it also finds its parallel a t Hissar in these areas. Metal fragments found a t Amri
(1937:202, P1.54). from the lowest levels are coexistent with
In Period V, the decoration, fabric, and Togau C ware (Casal 1964b:27,149). Amri
technology of pottery production change ware appears for the first time a t Amri in IC,
rapidly, with a reversion to handmade pottery. and continues side by side until Harappan
A mat dull purple-red ware, with checkered ware becomes more dominant in Period 111.
bands on the upper part of the hody vessel It would appear that at Amri, as at Kot Diji,
painted in purple or purplish-black (similar to a mature Indus culture imposed itself on the
Rana Ghundai IIIC), becomes most char- native indigenous population. Thus, the pre-
acteristic. Metal finds of this period are Harappan Sothi, or Kalibangan, ware
neither extensive nor technologically more at Kalibangan did not develop into mature
evolved. The change to handmade pottery Harappan any more than did the pre-Harap-
and the apparent decline in the production of pan Rot Diji ware (Ghosh 1965:llS). If, in-
the previously more elaborate metal forms deed, Mackays deep digging in the D K area
(shaft-hole axes and adzes, dakgers) may at Mohenjodaro in 1932 (Mackay 1938:441)
signify a break in western influence and rela- (which because of the high watertable at the
tions and the beginning of a regional flores- site still left 20 to 25 feet of occupational
cence following the occupational break evident debris unexcavated [Dales personal com-
after Mundigak V. munication]) yielded Quetta Wet Ware and
Unfortunately, in Baluchistan stratified Sothi pottery, as Ghosh (1965 :116) seems
sequences such as those a t Mundigak are as to think, they must have been associated with
rare as they are in the rest of the Indian sub- copper and copper-tin bronze tools from up to
continent, where large blanks still exist in both -33.4 feet. If the evidence and interpretation
space and time. A t Quetta (Fairservis 1956: of Ghosh are correct, then at Mohenjodaro
231) and Ispelinji Mound 1 (Pakistan Archae- there was an overlap of Harappan and pre-
ology 1964: 16) copper tools appear in associa- Harappan settlement; but it does not appear
tion with Quetta ware. The continued use of that the Harappan developed directly from
stone tools and blades throughout this period this predecessor.
[Phase C cultures (Dales 1965:261)] and the Sir Aurel Steins (1929) soundings in a
limited use of metal suggest that these cul- number of mounds about Baluchistan pro-
tures were still in the Chalcolithic. duced little attributable to Daless Phase C or
During the succeeding Phase D, the first Phase D (1965). A simple copper pin, flat
settlements in the Indus Plain appear (Dales axe, and mirror from Kulli; an ornamental pin
1965:262-268). These sites are found in the from Pak in the Kolwa Valley; a copper
Behawalpur region (Pakistan Archwology bracelet from Nundara; and copper fragments
1964: 35-36), throughout northern Rajasthan from Siah Damb, Moghul Ghundai in the
(Indian Archaeology 1958/59:132 ff), in Rot Zhob, and Zayak in Kharam give us few
Diji (Pakistan Arclzaeology 1964:3943), and materials upon which to form a n opinion,
in Kalibangan (La1 1962, Thapar 1965). Dales except that copper was used by these peasant
suggests (1965 :263) that the lowland settle- communities ca. 2500 B.C. The more extensive
ments sprang from a tradition basically dif- finds a t Mehi-bracelets, pins, mirrors, and a
ferent from the highland tradition of the cup-may be contemporary with and find
Baluchi hills, although interaction can be parallels a t Harappa I, I1 (Piggott 1946:
seen at the earliest stages between the two. 15-21). At Nal, Hargreaves (1925) recovered
Evidence for the origin of these lowland settle- copper axes, knives, blades, ornamental ring
ments is still lacking, though suggestive evi- bracelets, and simple pins. The copper axes
dence points to a northwestern stimulus, from Nal, with their tendency to curved sides
through Afghanistan and beyond; interest in and narrow butts (Hargreaves 1925:176), do
LAMBERG-KAKLOVSKY] Archeology & Metallurgical Technology 149
not conform to Harappan types. N. G. Ma- likely to be exported by sea or overland by the
jumdars (1934) systematic excavations in Khyber or Bolan Pass (Fairservis 1956:27)
Sind yielded very few copper objects. A copper or along the Makran Coast to the Indus
chisel found a t Othmanjo-Bithi was believed (Dales 1962 :86-92). The relative scarcity of
to be the only object found associated with prehistoric bronzes in the Indus Valley may
pre-Harappan pottery (Majumdar 1934:27, be due to the dearth of nearby tin deposits.
30,Pl.lO). The facts, however, that some of the Tin must have been one of the many consum-
sherds have a typical Harappan trefoil pattern able imports traded for, overland and by sea.
and that the chisel is similar to Harappan ones The presence of tin, as well as copper, ingots
cast some doubt as to the pre-Harappan is well attested for a t Harappa (Coghlan 1951 :
identity of the site. Other copper objects 71), and at Chanhudaro copper-tin bronze
found by Majumdar (1934) a t Arabjo-Thana, ingots in alloy form have been found (Mackay
Jhukar, Lohunjo-daro, Lohei, Ghazi, Ali 1943: 175).
Murad, Dhal, Karchat, and Jhangar are of Copper ores are relatively scarce in the
early Harappa date or later. A t Sut-kagen-dor, subcontinent (Marshall 1931 :482). The near-
Stein (1931:64-65) uncovered a barbed fish- est deposits of copper are situated to the west
hook that is identical to the fishhooks used a t of the Indus Valley and are unknown in Sind.
Harappa (described below). About the Zhob In Baluchistan, however, rich copper deposits
River Valley small isolated finds of copper, as occur a t Shah Bellaul and a t Robat, where
a t Rana-Ghundai and Dabar Kot, do not there is evidence of prehistoric (undated)
provide sufficient evidence for dating or com- copper smelting operations (Marshall 1931 :
parison. 676). Large quantities of slag noticed in many
The stratigraphic sequences for the earliest prehistoric sites in southern Seistan suggest
levels of the Indus sites are for the most part that copper was also locally available in this
confused and provide little opportunity for region (Fairservis 1961 :98). Deposits also occur
ordering. In the lowest levels are found copper in the Ros Kuh and Kojak Amran Range. Rich
objects manufactured by cold-hammering, veins of copper ore exist in the Shah Maksud
raising, and open-mold casting (Mackay 1948 : Range in Afghanistan, as well as a t Kale1 Zeri
36). The use of these techniques a t Harappa and Anarek in Iran; a t both sites there is ex-
and Mohenjodaro may be explained only as tensive evidence for prehistoric copper-working
the result of a full-blown metallurgy being (Marshall 1931:483; Gordon 1950:80-81;
introduced from the west. We must bear Lamberg-Karlovsky 1965 :180-184). In India,
in mind, however, that these same techniques copper mines near Rohira, in Sirohi State, and
were part of the common heritage of the north near Mewar, Khetri, and Singhana, in the
India area, going back to Mundigak 11, 111. Jaipur State, are believed to have been worked
Thus, the west, in this case, may mean the in prehistoric (undated) times. Other impor-
western Baluchi area, Afghanistan, or the hills tant copper deposits are known from Singh-
about Quetta, where the earlier stimulus for bhum in Bihar, Orissa, from Rupavati in the
metallurgical development was derived from Amreli District, and from Indore (Marshall
Iran. 1931 :676; Lamberg-Karlovsky 1965: 183-186).
The presence of lead in many of the copper
KNOWN SOURCES OF ORE DEPOSITS objects a t Mohenjodaro is noteworthy, as
Tin sources are very rare in India and copper ores associated with lead occur in
unknown in Baluchistan; copper ores, on the Afghanistan and Baluchistan and may be indic-
other hand, while relatively rare in India, ative of the source of copper brought in by
exist in rich deposits in Baluchistan and trade to the Indus Valley (Marshall 1931:483;
Afghanistan. The only substantial tin de- Gordon 1950:80-81). The presence of nickel in
posits in India exist in the Hazaribagh Dis- many of the copper implements a t Mohenjo-
trict; according to Marshall (1931 :483) they daro and a similar percentage of nickel in the
were worked in ancient (undated) times. Tin copper deposits in Oman suggest a possible
deposits occur in the Kara Dagh region of trade between these two areas (Gowland 1912:
northwestern Iran, as well as in Luristan and 252). The Indus site of Lothal on the Gulf of
Khuzistan (Caldwell and Shahmirzadi 1966: Cambay may have been the port through
4), in southwest Afghanistan, and along the which this copper, either in ore form or in in-
coasts of Trucial Oman, from whence it was gots, was received. The deposits of Jabal a1
150 Americaia Anthropologist [69,1967

16
2'

l-

I
I
I

4 0 10
INCHES
FIGURE1. Copper and bronze objects from Harappa (5, 8) and Mohenjodaro (the rat): 1, dagger; 2,
handled mirror; 3, Celt; 4, chisel; 5, knife with curved end; 6, fishhook; 7, arrowhead; 8, animal-headed pin;
9, spiral-headed pin; 10, razor; 11, sickle; 12, socketed adze-axe.

Ma'adan in the Wadi Ahin in Oman contain centers of Mesopotamian metallurgy, while
both nickel and arsenic as impurities in almost unmistakable proof of contact with Bahrain
the same amounts as an analyzed copper frag- and other Persian Gulf islands is found a t
ment from Mohenjodaro (Gordon 1950:80- Lothal (Raoetal. 1963:180). By the late third
81). millennium copper was being exported into
The Indus seals found a t Ur and the Ak- Mesopotamia from Magan and Maluhha,
kadian period of occupation at Tell Asmar mentioned in cuneiform texts and perhaps
(Frankfort 1939:304 ff.)provide a linkwith the Persian Gulf centers; and during the reign of
LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY] Archeology & Metallurgical Technology 151
the Larsa kings, the deposits of Dilmun sources or alloys were preferred (Rao el al.
(Bahrein?)* were being tapped (Lamberg- 1963:149).
Karlovsky 1965:lO). I n return for this ore A great diversity of copper and bronze ob-
Lothal must have provided ivory, chank shell, jects has been found in all Indus Civilization
stone beads, and cotton (Rao el al. 1963: 180). sites. These include Harappa, Mohenjodaro,
Copper deposits in which the ore is as- and Chanhudaro, as well as many of the newer
sociated with nickel are also found in India, in sites discovered in Gujarat and Sind, as far as
Rajasthan and Singhbhum (Gowland 1912 : Ralibangan (reported in I d i a a Archaeology
252), and Gordon (1950:81), in considering 1958-59). Those objects that appear most
the distribution of copper deposits, has sug- abundantly and are readily identifiable are:
gested that the spread of Harappan settle- flat axes, chisels, fishhooks, bracelets, ar-
ments along the Sarasvati River resulted from row- and spearheads, razors, knives, kohl
the presence of the copper mines in Rajasthan sticks, mirrors, and saws. The flat axes,
and in southwest Punjab. But until sufficient usually stocky and of subrectangular form
samples from Indus sites are analyzed, it is not with splayed edges, and the mirrors were cast
possible to assign the origins of their copper ore in open molds (Gordon 1958:66). The chisels
to a given provenance. Trade with Oman, how- and thick-bladed knives were hammered from
ever, is more than likely to account for at least square- or round-sectioned rods (Smith 1907:
part of the copper of the Indus Civilization. 234). All of the objects of thin section, i.e.,
knives, arrows, spearheads, razors, and saws,
METALLURGICAL TECHNOLOGY were chiseled from sheets of thin roll ham-
I N T H E INDUS VALLEY mered copper (Mackay 1948:94-96). The
In considering the metallurgical industry in hardness of most of the copper objects found
the prehistory of India, i t becomes readily at Harappa has been shown on analysis to be
evident that there were two separate, though due to a high arsenic content. The presence of
possibly partially overlapping centers: that this arsenic is believed to be accidental, being
about the Indus Valley and allied sites of indigenous to the copper deposits from which
northern and western India and that about the ores were extracted rather than secondarily
the Ganges-Jumna Basin. Though some introduced (Coghlan 1951:44-46). We must
typological similarity of objects between not disregard the possibility, however, that
these areas is evident-for example, flat the smiths recognized the advantages of a n
axes-it is best to treat the areas separately ore with arsenic in it for producing a harder,
and then investigate typological and tech- less brittle tool; since ore selection may have
nological similarities. The Indus Civilization, been done by color, it is possible that the
chronologically earlier, merits first considera- smiths remembered what color ore gave the
tion. best results and selected for that, thus select-
The absence of a clearly observable develop- ing for arsenic a t the same time. Analysis has
mental sequence, stratigraphically defined, shown, though, that the Indus metallurgists
does not hinder one from an analysis of the did add tin to copper, thereby deliberately
over-all metallurgical technology in the Indus producing the alloy bronze (Gordon 1950:73).
Valley. Recent excavations a t Rangpur, Kali- They do not seem to have used a fixed propor-
bangan, and Lothal have provided an initial tion of tin to copper, however, for the amount
stratigraphic sequence, but have not shown of added tin varies between 8 and 26 percent
that there was any great development in metal- (Mackay 1948:94). At Rangpur the amount
lurgical skills from the inception of this civiliza- of added tin varies from 4 to 11 percent, with
tion to its decline. From the earliest excavated most of the objects being either of native
levels, techniques are evident that are also copper or of a low-tin bronze (below 6%). The
characteristic of the later mature Harappan. only high copper-tin bronzes were bangles and
A t Rangpur during the IIA period (Harap- pins (Rao et al. 1963:153), perhaps because
pan), low copper-tin bronze objects were nor- sheet bronze, from which these objects were
mally produced, but the benefits of a higher tin produced, is almost impossible to work in a
content in the alloy were also realized (Rao low tin range, either hot or cold, and tends to
et al. 1963: 149). The absence of arsenic in the be too brittle for use as tools (Coghlan 1960:
Rangpur bronzes and its presence in those of 145).
Harappa (2-7%) suggest that different ore Through the objects recovered from the
152 American Anthropologisl [69,1967
Indus sites, the techniques of hammering, al- cast in closed molds are found a t an equally
loying, raising, hollowing, sinking, open- and indeterminate, but not late, date (Mackay
closed-mold casting, cire perdue, riveting, lap- 1938:452). A highly sophisticated develop-
ping, soldering, and running on are known ment in Indus metallurgy can be seen in the
to have been practiced. joining of two parts of a bowl or jar by lapping.
Pans, pots, and bowls of copper and bronze It is most probable that bowls with sharply
.occur in the earliest excavated levels at carinated shoulders were made in two por-
Mohenjodaro, designated by Marshall as tions by raising and then joined by lapping
Period I (Marshall 1931:478-482); the copper- (see Mackay 1948: P1. XXII; Gordon 1958:
tin bronze pots and bowls have an almost P1. IX). Besides lapping, rivets were used for
.exact counterpart in pottery (compare Mar- joining separate sheets of metal in vessel pro-
shall [1931] Plate 160, l and 2 with nos. 55-58, duction (Lothal A111 period provides a good
Plate 81). For dee1.er vessels the technique illustration, Indian Archaeology 1955/56, Plate
,known as raising was employed (Coghlan XIA) .
1951:91). This method entails shaping the pot There have been no reported instances of
from a flat disc of copper or bronze by repeated copper soldering in the Indus Valley, al-
hammering on the outer surface, while the though the knowledge of this technique is seen
inner side of the pot is slowly revolved against in the gold and silver work (Marshall 1931:
the metal workers stake. I n this manner the 486-489; Mackay 1948:136; La1 1953:80-89).
metal is raised up through a series of concen- It is interesting to note that soldering was first
tric rings. The shallow pans and bowls were used in Mesopotamia on gold and silver ob-
produced by an even simpler technique, jects also (Lamberg-Karlovsky 1965:118). A
that of hollowing or sinking. I n this in- technique similar in function to soldering,
stance the metal is placed over a cup-shaped running-on, was employed to reinforce rivets
depression of wood and hammered and turned by running molten metal about the base of the
until sunk to the required depth and shape rivet for greater strength (Marshall 1931:489).
(La1 1951:137; Gordon 1958:66). The above It is evident that the smiths of the Indus
techniques are well represented in the metal Civilization displayed a sophisticated com-
assemblage a t Mohenjodaro (Mackay 1938: mand over their metallurgical techniques. Very
32) and a t Harappa (Marshall 1931:481), as little is known, however, of their furnaces, bel-
,well as Lothal (La1 1963). lows, or crucibles. This is also true for their
A few pans with handles are found a t tools of production; none have been found
Mohenjodaro and a t Chanhudaro. The handles that could be definitely designated as the tools
of these pans were formed by bending metal of a smith. A short distance south of the Great
over or under in tubular form, an art known Bath building a t Mohenjodaro (DK area, G
from a t least the time of Mundigak IVI Section), a large and apparently important
(Casal 1961: fig. 40, 21). In one instance a building was uncovered, which the excavators
tubular handle was lapped onto the body of believed served as the accommodation for
the pan (Mackay 1938:Pl. CXXII). I n addi- metal workers (Mackay 1948:47). A con-
tion to these rather uncomplicated methods siderable amount of copper ore in a brick-
of production, bronze and copper objects were lined pit indicates that copper was smelted and
made in open and closed molds or by cire possibly cast there. The brick-lined pit may
perdue technique. In the early levels a t have served as a reducing pit for copper. Fur-
Chanhudaro metal objects were manufac- naces of the pot type, 3 feet 4 inches in
tured by the relatively simple process of ham- diameter and 8 inches deep, into which the
mering as well as by casting; stone molds for blast must have been forced downward
the casting of flat axes were found (Mackay through oblique channels by some sort of ef-
1943: 117-119). ficient bellows, were identified a t Harappa
It is difficult a t this stage of research to as- (Vats 1940:470-472). Unfortunately, only
sign the development or introduction of the this single furnace has been identified out of
complex cire perdue technique of casting to a the many that must have been used for metal
particular period. The bronze figurines from production.
Mohenjodaro, however, are certainly not The most common metal tool found at
from the latest mature Harappan period Mohenjodaro and Chanhudaro is the chisel.
(Marshall 1931 :345; Wheeler 1962:72). Axes This, due possibly to coincidence, is not so a t
LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY] Archeology & iktetakgical Technology 153
most of the other Indus sites, where the flat not appear to have any distinct direction; the
axe is the most common metal type. The saw was simply an abrading instrument for
chisel typically acts as a sharp-edged tool for scraping out a groove by pulling and pushing
cutting or shaping wood, stone, or metal. The (Marshall 1931:SOO-501). The saw from
numerous finds of metal chisels cause one to Mohenjodaro, on the other hand, has its
speculate as to their function. Metal does not toothed edge undulated in order to prevent
appear to have been cut and shaped by binding in a cut. This is the first evidence for
chisels in sufficient quantity to cause such a the use of the true cutting saw, which, except
demand and subsequent supply; nor was stone- for this example, does not occur prior to the
working common, and when present it was European Iron Age (Coghlan 1951 :79-83). I t s
crudely done. We are left to conclude that presence suggests that the Harappans had de-
these chisels were used for the shaping and veloped a dependency on and need for cut
cutting of wood, which has not survived. wood. The great number of chisels tends also
There are five different types of chisels (Mac- to support this theory. The wooden beam
kay 1938: 184 ff .), all of which appear to have rafters in the larger architectural structures,
been produced by simple hammering. as well as the wood needed for fuel to fire their
Blade-axes of a simple form are common, metal- and brick-producing ovens, were doubt-
and basically of two different types: long and lessly cut with such saws. None of the four
narrow and short and broad. Both types have saws found a t Mohenjodaro or of those from
double shaped h a t e edges, slightly sloping Harappa and Chanhudaro was found in as-
sides, and square-cut butts. The short and sociation with other objects. A saw from
broad ones seem to be more common outside Lothal, believed to have been used in bead
of the Indus Valley proper (Indian Archaeology making, was found associated with a mirror, a
1956/57:16; Rao el al. 1963:149). They ap- drill for bead work, and blades, all dated to
pear to have been manufactured in the same the Harappan level of Lothal. Another saw
manner as the blade-axes of the Ganges-Jumna may have been used in woodworking (Indian
Basin (though the butts are thinner in sec- Archaeology 1959/60: 17).
tion): cast in molds and finished with the aid The beam balance for weighing scales must
of a hammer and an abrasive. have been of considerable size, to judge from
In certain respects the short and broad the copper scale pans (Mackay 1938: 178; P1.
blade-axes of Mohenjodaro resemble those LXII). These scale pans consist of a circular,
from the Gungeris hoard attributed to the slightly hollowed pan with three holes for its
Ganges Civilization. Typological similarities attachment and suspension from the beam.
of these blade-axes in the Indus and the Two copper swords, thickened toward the
Ganges are often based on the presence of an middle in section but without a true midrib,
incipient shoulder, which is pronounced in were also found a t Mohenjodaro (Mackay
both types (Marshall 1931:495; Wheeler 1966: 1938:487). They are of the simplest manufac-
94-95). It is to be emphasized that this is a ture, without any distinctive traits of produc-
common characteristic, functional for a blade- tion or decoration. When two examples of a
axe, and need not show cultural contact or basic and simple object, such as this sword,
derivation; nearly identical shouldered blade- are separated by a thousand miles and are
axes are known from Hungary and Western centuries apart, to point out typological
Europe in the Bronze Age (Childe 1929:203- similarities is rather fruitless and certainly
208). The blade-axes a t Chanhudaro exactly misleading; nonetheless, i t might not be
duplicate those of Mohenjodaro. An axe with untoward to call to mind the dagger fragment
a definitely pronounced shoulder has recently found in Seistan, also with a thickened middle,
been uncovered in the Harappan levels of and in association with a mirror, a flat Celt
Lothal (Indian Archaeology 1957/58: 13, Plate fragment, and a haft fragment from a copper
XXIA). knife (Fairservis 1961:98, fig. 32).
The presence of a unique metal saw a t Spear- and arrowheads with pointed wing
Harappa and, indeed, the constant presence barbs are quite numerous. They occur from
of saws a t other Harappan sites suggest a the earliest excavated levels a t Mohenjodaro
great dependence on this tool. I n the early (Marshall 1931:497). These spear- and arrow-
metal saws, excepting the Mohenjodaro ex- heads are notable for the width and thinness
ample (Mackay 1938:Pl. 116), the teeth do of their blades: some are so thin that unless
154 il merican Anthropologist [69, 1967
they were reinforced they would have buckled fall into this class. Copper figurines of wagons
under the most moderate pressure. They ap- and carts are found at some of the Indus sites,
pear to have been reinforced by a wooden for example, Mohenjodaro (Marshall 1931:
midrib or to have been hafted onto a split 209). Human figurines cast in copper-tin
wooden shaft acting as a midrib. Mackay bronze are also known.
(1938:487) suggests that these arrow- and A most remarkable figurine is that of a girl
spearheads were not made by the people of found in H R area and ascribed to the Late
Mohenjodaro, but represented captured booty Period of Mohenjodaro (Mackay 1938: 138).
from an inferior civilization. The fact, how- This bronze figurine depicts a young female,
ever, that they are found throughout all levels apparently dancing, naked except for arm
of Mohenjodaro and a t Harappa militates bangles and a necklace. It stands 4.25 inches
against this hypothesis. Spearheads are found high, with the feet broken off. The right hand
in considerable abundance on all Indus sites. rests on the hip, the left hangs loosely, the
As an implement of warfare they would not posture of the legs is relaxed. The head, ex-
have been efficient, being too light and thin, pressively tilted, is a skillful impression of
but it is possible that they were used as spear- australoid characteristics, with large eyes,
heads for fishing. I n all cases they appear to a flat nose, somewhat prognathous face, and
have been manufactured by cold-hammering. bunched (or braided) hair. Another figurine
Fishhooks hammered round in section are of a dancing female was found a t Lothal
common on all Indus sites. They are, for the (Indian Archaeology 1956/57: 16). Both of
most part, of copper with a simple end barb these figurines, as well as most of the animal
and punched eye a t the end of the shank to figurines, are eloquent testimony to the Indus
secure the line (Marshall 1931:Sol). artisans mastery of the cire perdlce technique
Razors of the Indus Civilization take a of casting.
variety of forms. The most common type has I n the metal inventory of the Indus Valley
opposite blades of dissimilar shapes a t the sites, only a very limited number of objects
end of a long rodlike handle. The second type can be ascribed a purely military function.
is L-shaped; the third has a handle that bends Four daggers with pronounced midrib from
backward parallel with the blade. The fourth, Mohenjodaro provide the exception to this
and rarest, type consists of a long, thin, (Mackay 1938:123). All four have a long tang,
straight blade with a rounded edge a t one end with rivet holes a t the base of the blade on
(Gordon 1950:80-83). All of these types were either side of the tang. Two of these daggers,
found also a t Chanhudaro (Mackay 1943: 182), 18.5 inches and 15.7 inches long, were found
which added two new types to the inventory: in Period I b and I1 (1938 :120). These weap-
distinctive U-shaped and crescent-shaped ons are late, and foreign to the Indus metal
forms. Razors have been found, too, a t Rang- material culture. Nor do these four daggers
pur and Lothal, but descriptions are not re- have a parallel in the Ganges-Jumna Basin.
ported (Rao et al. 1963:149). Mackay (1943: Schaeffer (1948:fig. 145) provides a close paral-
183) believed that all but the thin straight lel for them a t Megiddo, dated ca. 2000 B.C. ..\
blades with rounded edge were peculiar to fragment of a similar midribbed blade, with
India. most of the blade and tang missing, is known
A number of copper figurines are known from Navdatoli, Period 111 (Indian Archaeol-
from the Indus Civilization. Among them are ogy 1958/59:fig. 14); it is closer in both time
several of animals. Bulls with lowered head and space to the Mohenjodaro examples than
and marked hump have been found on all the Megiddo parallel. The appearance of
Indus sites, and an elephant (?) is known these midribbed daggers, as well as of a cast
from Mohenjodaro (Mackay 1938: 100). single-socketed copper axe-adze found a t
Birds have been identified from Mohenjodaro Mohenjodaro (Mackay 1938:457-458), has
and Harappa; the example from Mohenjodaro been attributed by Wheeler (1961 :240) to the
has its eye-holes drilled, doubtless to take in- expansion of warrior peoples who brought with
lays. Rather similar to this is a bird-headed them, ca. 1800 B.c., the widespread distribu-
pin from Lothal (Rao et al. 1963:181). Frag- tion of improved metallic weapons.
ments of other animals are also known, al- The simple socketed axe-adze from Mohen-
though with these the exact species is hard to jodaro closely resembles ones from Hissar
determine; the figure of the Mohenjodaro (Schmidt 1937:P1.52) and Shahi Tump (Stein
elephant and that of the Lothal dog 1931). At Hissar this axe was found in I I I C
LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY] Archeology & dfcta~~urgical
Technology 155

context (Schmidt 1937 :205). A rnacehead from The copper objects recovered from the
Mohenjodaro, dated to ca. 2000 B.C. (Piggott graves a t Shahi Tump are linked by Piggott
1947 :3 1), also is typologically similar to one (1943: 178-181) with Anau 111,Hissar 111,and
from Hissar IIIC (Schmidt 1937:P1.52). Sim- the Jhukar settlement of Chanhudaro 11.
ilar maceheads are known in Luristan, and Shahi Tump provided the first appearance of
dated there to cu. 1400 B.C. (Piggott 1947:39- the shaft-hole (trunnion) axe in India (Stein
41). Further chronological discrepancies are 1931:90-94) until the discovery of earlier
evident if the socketed axe-adze from shaft-hole axes in Mundigak 111, (Casal 1961:
Chanhudaro is considered (Mackay 1943: 188). 248, fig. 139,10,10a), Afghanistan. Typologi-
Typologically it is identical to the one from cally, the shaft-hole axe from Shahi Tump has
Mohenjodaro. At Chanhudaro this axe-adze been compared with those from Maikop and
was found in stratum I11 and dated ca. Tsarskaia in south Russia (La1 1953:95-97;
1200-1500 B.c., or five hundred years later Joshi 1962:lO). The Shahi Tump cemetery
than its identical counterpart a t Mohenjodaro. seems to have been dug into earlier settle-
The axe-adzes at Chanhudaro and Mohen- ments of the Rulli-Mehi culture (Lal1953:87).
jodaro have been assigned to the Jhukar Cul- The pottery has been unconvincingly referred
ture (Piggott 1947:42-47); if this designation to as a late and decadent version of the ceramic
is correct, then the lower date of 1500 B.C. is tradition of Susa I and Bakun A (Thapar
more acceptable for them than the higher date 1965 :161). The metal objects, however, at
of 2000 B.C.' Spiral-headed and animal- Shahi Tump do reflect the forms found in
headed pins found at Mohenjodaro and Ha- Hissar IIB and 111, as well as Anau I1 types.
rappa have also been included in the Jhukar Scattered finds such as the Celt from Kurram,
inventory; as we have seen, however, spiral- the bronze sword from Rajanpur in the Pun-
headed pins occur in perfectly good strati- jab, and those from Fathgarh and Rallur, sug-
graphic context at Mundigak.Thespira1-headed gest further contacts with the west at differ-
pins found a t both Mohenjodaro and Chan- ent and as yet unknown periods (Thapar 1965:
hudaro (Mackay 1943:72) are similar to those 161).
of Hissar IIB-IIIA (Schmidt 1937: 119,205, These shaft-hole axes, midribbed daggers,
P1.29, 45). Bird-headed pins are known from and swords are believed by some authors to
the Harappan levels a t Lothal (Zltdian Ar- be part of the inventory of the invading
chaeology 1956/57: 18). Further parallels can Aryans (Heine-Geldern 1936:87-113; Gordon
be pointed out with the copper stamp seals of 1950:38). It is not within the scope of this
Chanhudaro 11. These compartmented seals, paper to evaluate the abundant literature on
in which there is a raised pattern of metal the material remains identified as belonging
strips, occur also at Shahi Tump (Stein 1931: to the Aryans. The trunnion axe from Shahi
P1.14), at Hissar IIB (Schmidt 1937:P1.31), Tump, the Fathgarh swords, and the Fort
at Anau 111 (McCown 1942:60), at Deh Munro sword have, however, all been desig-
Morasi I11 (Dupree 1963:114,fig.lOc), and a t nated as part of this inventory. Until this
Susa (LeBreton 1957). The idea for producing problem rests on a firmer foundation, i t is to
such objects as animal- and spiral-headed pins, be remembered that typologically similar
maceheads, and compartmented seals may trunnion axes and midribbed daggers are
have been passed on by stimulus diffusion and known from Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, and
trade; certainly their wide distribution in Russia (Childe 1957:219-228, P1.39). Too, the
both time and space does not make them re- daggers and axes from Byblos 11-IV, which
liable indicators for establishing chronological are typologically similar to those of India,
synchronisms (Childe 1936: 113 IT.). are not associated there with the problem of
A simple copper dagger without midrib or Aryan invasions and origins (Dunand 1939,
medial thickening similar to the type found at Schaeffer 1948).
Mohenjodaro, I b and I1 levels, was found in
Manpur in the Bulandshahr District (Sastri THE GANGES-JUMNA
1915 :Z,Pl.IV). This dagger was associated METALLURGICAL TRADITION
with two copper axes, excavated from a From the Indus Valley we turn eastward to
mound. No attempt was made to excavate this the doab or two-river country of Hindustan,
mound further, and we are left to ponder how the drainage of the Ganges and Jumna rivers.
these axes (not illustrated) and daggers were The actual distance from the Sutlej of the
uncovered in the first place (Gordon 1950:60). Indus system to the Jumna is less than 80
156 American Aizthropologist [69, 1967
miles, but in prehistory the two valleys are comparable to that evident in the metals
culturally distinct. Slight hints of some con- produced in the Indus Civilization. Perhaps,
nection between the two areas are evident, as Gupta remarks, the Ganges people acquired
however, such as the find of what is believed the ideas and techniques from the late Harap-
to be an anthropomorphic figure-a typical pans, with whom they came into contact in
Ganges form, foreign to the Indus-in Lothal the course of the Harappans eastward expan-
IV (La1 1964:19) and the occurrence of a sion (Gupta in Ghosh 1965: 147).
copper ring of apparent Ganges affinity at Only a very few objects characteristic of the
Bargaon, in Saharanpur District, in a Harap- hoard types have been found stratigraphically
pan level (Deshpande in Ghosh 1965:128). associated with other material. Lal dug ex-
The archeology of the Ganges Valley is still ploratory trenches a t Rajpur Parsu and
in its infancy, and extreme caution should be Bisauli, where copper hoards had been found,
used in making correlations between the Indus and uncovered sherds of low-fired ochre-
and Ganges civilizations. The famous series washed ware (La1 1953:80-103; Ghosh 1965:
of copper hoards found over the years in the 123). Little is known of this Ochre Washed
Ganges-Jumna Basin have been, until very ware. Its complete repertoire of shapes has
recently, completely devoid of any associa- not been determined, and its association with
tions. the copper hoards, though likely, is not yet
I n these hoards over one thousand objects proved. It occurs in the lowest strata of
have been found on more than 34 sites. The Hastinapura, preceding the Painted Grey
objects comprise eight main types: (1) flat- ware (La1 1953:80-103), and in the same hori-
axes of stocky, subrectangular form with zon at Atranjikhera, District Etah (Ghosh
splayed edges, (2) shouldered axes, (3) bar 1965:124). It has been collected from the sur-
Celts or chisels, up to two feet long, consisting face a t Manpur and Bhatpura, in Bulland-
of a nearly parallel-sided bar and an expanded shahr from Ambkheri, Saharanpur District,
chisel edge in one of the lateral planes, (4) by M. N. Deshpande.
rings made by bending a rod of circular section As the picture emerges, i t appears as though
until the ends meet, (5) harpoon heads with there are comparable shapes and fabrics at
bilateral barbs and a loop or projection for the these sites, although there is also a high degree
attachment of a cord, (6) spearheads with a of individuality. The few common shapes so
midrib, (7) swords, usually with the hilt far determined seem to be traceable back to
bifurcated like antennae, and (8) anthro- Rupar and Bara (Ghosh 1965:124), but the
pomorphic objects, up to 18 inches in height. presence of individual features must not be
Analysis of some of these objects shows a ignored. There is even some doubt about the
small amount of nickel and arsenic, in propor- Ochre Washed ware being a distinctive group;
tions consistent with an Indian origin for the its apparent fabric may be due to imperfect
ore (Wheeler 1959:124). It is unlikely that the firing and prolonged burial in waterlogged or
manufacturers of the distinctive Ganges saline soil. This would make both the core and
copper objects were degenerate Harappans the surface soft and liable to rub off easily
developing in isolation, as Ghosh (1965: 124) (Ghosh 1965: 154, n. 24). The dish-on-stand
has recently stated. The metal objects char- and the knobbed lid found in Ochre Washed
acteristic of these hoards are culturally out of ware are certainly reminiscent of Harappan
context, and without prototypes, in an Indus shapes (La1 1964:18). However, if the condi-
environment. Although most of the imple- tion of the slip and the fabric is due to water-
ments are of copper, a t least two harpoons and logging, we cannot tell what the designs on the
two swords are of low-grade copper-tin bronze surface were like, or even if they existed. Per-
(Ghosh 1965:147); the antennae sword from haps this ware is then to be connected with
Kallur in the Raichur District contains 9.5 the Lustrous Red ware of the late Harappans,
percent of tin (Wheeler 1959: 124). Campbell, or the dull red ware found in the late Harappan
from his examination of 27 axes from Man- level a t Bargaon (Deshpande in Ghosh 1965:
bhum (1916), is of the opinion that the axes 129). At Manpur and Bhatpura, the Ochre
were produced in closed molds and then Washed ware appears to have some connec-
beaten to the required thickness while still tion with Late Harappan ware (Joshi 1962:
hot. The metallurgical techniques evident in 19); it certainly occurs beneath the Painted
the production of these hoards are of a skill Grey ware, both here and perhaps also in
LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY] Archeology & kfetalhYgiCa1 Technology 157

-
1
.-u-
4
+
0- -

1 11-
\

12k f I

0 4 0 12 16 20

FIGURE 2. Implements and other objects from copper hoard sites: 1,3, antennae sword from Fathgarh;
2, anthropomorphic figure from Sheorajpur; 43, harpoons respectively from Sarthauli and Bisauli; 6, ring
from Pandi; 7, hooked spearhead from Sarthauli; 8, hatchet from Sarthauli; 9, Celt from Gungeria; 10,
shouldered Celt from Dunria; 11, double-edged axe from Bhagrii Pir; 12,13, bar Celts from Gungeh.
158 American Anthropologist [69, 1967
Rajghat IA, where an ochrous red ware is Sitabhanji, and the Santal Pargana, in Bihar,
found in association with black-slipped, and overlap the copper types temporally and
coarse black and red, and red and gray wares spatially (Joshi 1962:22). Shouldered Celts
(Indian Archaeology 1960/61:35). are also found in stone in India, Burma, and
The flat-axe with more or less expanded Malaysia and throughout southeastern Asia,
blades is the only possible link with the Indus as well as in Central India from Dul Barh,
Civilization, and the type is too generalized a Bongra, Manbhum, and Mayurbhani to the
form and too isolated a n element to support mouth of the Godavari (Joshi 1962 :22).
the view of Indus colonization about the The place of origin of the hoard contents
Ganges (Wheeler 1959:125) or fleeing Harap- is in doubt. Gupta would have them originate
pan refugees (Piggott 1950:238;see also Dales somewhere in Bihar or Chota Nagpur, where
1964:36-43, 1966:93-100, and Raikes 1964 Burmese shouldered Celts are found that
for an interesting formulation on the decline are exact prototypes of those of the Ganges
and evacuation of Indus sites). The really hoards (Joshi 1962:22; Gupta in Ghosh
distinctive hoard types-barbed harpoons, 1965:147). On the basis of this theory of
bar Celts, antennae swords, anthropomorphic eastern origin, the Bihar-Orissa types, namely
figures, shouldered axes, and spearheads-are the flat and shouldered Celts, are most com-
all foreign to the Indus inventory, as the mon to Uttar Pradesh, while the harpoons,
distinctively curved Indus blade is foreign to anthropomorphic figurines, antennae-hilted
the hoards. swords, and spearheads all evolved from the
The barbed spearheads or harpoons are of Bihar-Orissa types (Misra in Ghosh 1965:
two types. The most common, known as the 148). Until substantially more evidence is
Bithur type (Smith 1905:1-6),consists of a forthcoming, i t is best to hold in reserve such
large barbed spear having generally two theories on the eastern (Joshi 1962) or western
hooked barbs on either side, below which are (Heine-Geldern 1936) origins of these hoards.
a lug and a perforated hole for the attach- There are two hoards, within the Ganges-
ment of a string. These are generally up to 12 Jumna basin, that stand apart and are of out-
inches in length (Piggott 1944:174-176). standing interest. At Fathgarh, a group of 13
Those of the second type are most certainly swords were found, apparently of copper, al-
harpoons, with four to six bilateral barbs though they were never analyzed, with slight
equally spaced along the length of the blade midribs. All but one of these have a char-
(Gordon 1950:fig.l, p. 73). Spearheads of the acteristic antennae hilt. These large antennae
Bithur type are unique to India. I n the cave swords are paralleled by another hoard of four
paintings of Ghomargur and Lakunia, in such swords from Kallur in Hyderabad State,
Mirzapur District, the spearheads of the Deccan (Report of th Archaeological Depart-
hunters attacking an animal are almost ex- ment. . . 1937-40:Pl.V). The intrusive nature
actly like those referred to above as the Bithur of these martial swords strikes an immediate
type (Joshi 1962:18). Smith (1905:236-257) discordant note among the axes, harpoons,
observed that these harpoons are not forms and spearheads of the primitive peasantry of
natural to a metal production, but are copies the Ganges-Jumna Basin; Heine-Geldern
of earlier ones in bone and antler. These proto- (1936:87-113; 1956:146-163) has attempted
types have, however, never been found in to assign these weapons to the warlike Aryans
this area. The spears and harpoons suggest ex- of the Vedas. The closest comparable finds of
tensive hhing, as well as the hunting of an- antennae swords are in the Caucasus and
imals as formidable as the rhinoceros, depicted South Russia (Piggott 1944:180; Gordon
on the cave paintings (Wheeler 1959:126). 1950 :85-87). The absence of similar finds be-
The bar Celts are believed by Piggott tween these two areas, as well as the chrono-
(1944:173-182; see also Gordon 1958:144) to logical discrepancy in their occurrence, pre-
have evolved from the narrow, elongated cop- sents an enigmatic picture. The Fathgarh and
per Celts of the type discovered at Nal and Kallur swords have been most often com-
Mohenjodaro. Lals more acceptable view is pared with those of the Koban Culture
that these copper bar Celts developed from (Heine-Geldern 1936:124-135;Piggott 1944:
stone prototypes common to the area (La1 180; Gordon 1950:80-84; Wheeler 1959:115;
1950). Bar Celts of stone are found a t Ban Joshi 1962:18), but the parallels are uncon-
Asuria, Jashpur, Thakurania, Daspalla, vincing. Aside from the fact that the Koban
LAMBEXG-KARLOVSXY] Archeology & MetaJZurgicaZ Technology 159
swords are of copper-tin bronze and the In- found in Navdatoli 111, radiocarbon dated to
dian examples are of copper, the Koban swords 1600+ 130 B.C., P-204 (La1 1963:215). Evi-
are cast in two pieces, hilt and blade, and then dences of contact between the middle and late
joined by casting-on, while the Indian ex- phases of Navdatoli 111and Rangpur I I C and
amples are cast in one piece. Furthermore, the I11 (Rao el d. 1963:198) suggest that the
hilts of the Koban swords have a hole in the Deccan Chalcolithic may have had some con-
center and the blades are flat sectioned, while nections with post-Harappan Gujarat. The
the Fathgarh and Kallur swords have no hole find of what is considered by La1 as an anthro-
and the blades have a slight midrib. pomorphic figurine of Ganges-Jumna type in
A bronze sword with a strong medial mid- Lothal IV (La1 1964:19), with a radiocarbon
rib, the Fort Munro sword, found in the Pun- date of 1900+ 115 (TF29) (La1 1963:213),
jab and of unknown date, is unique within the would move the date of these hoards back
entire Indian metallic inventory. The peculiar even further. Other evidence for raising the
hilt finds its closest parallel in the Luristan date of the hoards comes from the find,
swords of Iran. La1 (quoted in Joshi 1962 :18) in a typical Harappan assemblage a t Bar-
claims that this sword, like the axe of Mohen- gaon, of a copper ring of the type found a t
jodaro and the socketed axes of Shahi Tump, Pondi, Bahadarabad, and Jorwe (Deshpande
has no relation to any Indian culture and is in Ghosh 1965:128; see also Sankalia 1955;
clearly intrusive. A t Fathgarh, however, an 1965:219-235). A t Chandoli, an antennae
anthropomorphic figure of sheet metal and a sword was found associated with Jorwe-
typical harpoon of the Ganges-Jumna type Nevasa pottery (Indian Archaeology 1960/61:
were also uncovered, both of which may be 27); this type of pottery first appears in the
paralleled by the harpoons and the anthro- third period at Nevasa, dated by radiocarbon
pomorphic figurines found at Bisouli (Piggott to between 1228 and 984 B.C. (Sankalia 1960:
1944:180). Perhaps the occurrence of the 68). These hoards, it would appear, and the
antennae-hilted sword in India and in Eastern types represented within them have a long
Europe, as well as in Central Europe in the history, beginning as far back perhaps as 1900
Late Bronze and Iron Ages, may have some- B.C. to 1000 B.C. The nonassociation of hoard
thing to do with the functional significance of types with Painted Grey ware implies that
antennae hilts in both areas, or it may be a they are earlier than 1000 B.C. (Wheeler 1966:
nonfunctional decorative idea that can ap- 95). It is obvious that a definitive statement
pear independently, given the form of a ling- cannot be approached at this time.
tanged sword. At the risk of sounding repetitious, I must
The copper hoard found a t Gungeris rep- stress the closely linked metal tradition of the
resents one of the earliest of the Ganges- entire north India area, even when the different
Jumna type copper hoards (Smith 1905:245). groups of people were using different types of
In this hoard 424 objects were found: pre- ceramics. At Navdatoli, Nimad District,
dominantly axes and bar Celts, along with 102 Madhya Pradesh, the metallic objects found
thin silver plates. The bar Celts are typolog- included five copper flat-axes, wire rings,
ically similar to those found a t Brahmagiri bangles, nail-parers, fishhooks, chisels, and
along with fragments of copper and bronze and thick pins of copper or bronze (Indian Archae-
unfinished ingots (Wheeler 1948:222-252). ology 1956/57:8-31), all of which but the
The axes are all blunt and appear to be un- chisels would have no difficulty losing them-
finished. This would tend to lend some support selves in almost any copper assemblage in
to the claim that these copper hoards are the northern India. Although there are certain
products of itinerant smiths (Sharma in variations in the metallic finds-for example,
Ghosh 1965:134). the Nevasa Celts are smaller than the Jorwe
From the Deccan, the excavations at Celts-they are akin in having a slightly con-
Navdatoli have yielded a dagger with a raised vex cutting edge and being oblong in plan
midrib and flat antennae (Indian Archaeology (Irtdian Archaeobgy 1960/61: 20). We are faced
1958/59:30). This object is a near duplicate of with a surplus of simple metal objects in the
the Fathgarh daggers. Navdatoli is important north Indian area, without significant associa-
because it provides us with a radiocarbon date tions and with very little that is complex
for a phase associated with a copper object of enough to provide us with enough points to
the Ganges-Jumna hoards: this dagger was make detailed comparisons.
160 American Anthropologist [69, 1967
It is evident that the use of and advantages tentative and the quest for new data con-
of low-tin bronze were known in this area. A tinued.
chisel from Nevasa (Sankalia 1960:417) con- NOTES
tained 2.72 percent tin, with traces of lead
1 This paper has been substantially revised since its first ap-
and nickel, while an associated copper bangle pearance as a chapter of my Ph.D. thesis for the University of
and bead were made of native copper (1960: Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology.1would like to thank
523). The techniques used to produce these Professors George F. Dales and Robert 11. Dyson, Jr., lor their
objects were found out through metallographic most helpful aid and suggestions in the initial preparation of this
paper. For any errors of omission and commission, I alone am
analysis: although there was evidence for responsible. I am also most grateful to Mr. Arthur Bankoff, who,
dendritic segregation in the chisel, as there is in my seminar on the archeology of India and Pakistan, reviewed
in all cast alloys, the dendrites had been the recent literature on this subject and provided helpful sugges-
broken up by hot forging after casting and tions.
9 S. N. Kramer has recently argued for the identitication of
finishing just above the recrystallization tem- Dilmun as the Sumerian collective term for the Indus Civiliza-
perature (ca. 500C); both the bangle and the tion sites (see Kramer 1963:lll-115). The probable India
bead were worked by hot-hammering a t a trade via Dilmun (Bahrein?) is recorded in cuneiform texts (see
relatively high temperature (1960 :524). Oppenheim 1954:6-17). The impression on a cuneiform tabletof
a Persian Gulf seal, derived from Harappan glyptic style and
The distribution of these techniques, as well dated to the tenth year of King Gugunum of Larsa, ca. 1Y23
as that of the hoards, is still imperfectly B.c., serves to date the related examples of Indus glyptic art in
known. A recently found hoard a t Khurdi in Mesopotamia.
Rajasthan brought to light flat-axes, long bar I This would also suggest, on the buis of metal-type parallels,
a lowering of the date of Hissar 111to after 1700 H.C.
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