1) Why do we know less about Harappan Civilization in comparison to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China?We know less about Harappan Civilization because the scientists have not managed to decipher the ancient script one can find on pottery vessels, seals, and amulets. Moreover, not enough excavations have been carried out in an attempt to understand how urban life was organized in the Indus valley.
2) How do we know that Harappan people wore large amounts of jewelry? Describe how Harappan stone bead manufacturing became more sophisticated over time.
Thanks to archeological excavations in the Indus Valley, namely in the southern gateway of Harappa and along the Ravi River, it has become clear that Harappan people wore large amounts of jewelry. That was done to demonstrate wealth and status. Over 1,400 years bead manufacturing became more elaborate as drilling techniques improved and bead styles changed. Progress in bead manufacturing procedures led to the shift in use of the steatite stone (also known as soapstone, a sort of soft talc) to hard stones, for example, agate and jasper. The pecking technique used for these hard stones was more sophisticated: it involved pecking with a tool made of stone or copper and boring with stone drill of harder variety. Then, approximately in 2,600 B.C., a tougher stone drill known as Ernestite was discovered. Using Ernestite the craftstmen were able to manufacture “exquisite carnelian beads worn by the Indus elites” (p.3). Later, hollow tubular copper drills along with abrasives were used to perforate hard stone beads. Large stone rings could now be hollowed.
3) How do archaeologists know that the standard for the Indus Civilization’s weight system was developed at Harappa two centuries before it spread throughout the whole region?
This is known due to the results of excavations when the scientists found a tiny limestone cubical weight which weighs 1.13 grams. It corresponds with the later Indus cities’ weight system. That is why the scientists concluded that Harappa was the first to use the weight system.
4) What is faience? How is it made? How did Kenoyer and his colleagues figure out how the Harappans made faience objects such as bangles, tablets, and beads?
Faience was a sort of glazed pottery made with the help of high-temperature kilns. Kenoyer and his colleagues had been unable to figure out how the Harappans manufactured faience objects until they conducted an experimental reconstruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
5) Why are the water and waste management systems at Harappan cities so impressive?
They were unique to the ancient world, especially if to consider how elaborate and extensive they were. In particular, wastewater was emptied on the surrounding agricultural fields in order to fertilize them with fertile sludge. Also, these systems covered the majority of houses in Harappa not just the houses of the upper class as it was in the Roman Empire, some 2, 000 years later.