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A pottery workshop with flint tools on blades knapped with copper at Nausharo (Indus civilisation, ca. 2500 BC)

by Sophie Méry, Patricia Anderson, Marie Louise Inizan, Monique Lechevallier, Jacques Pelegrin
Journal of Archaeological Science ()

Abstract

Twenty years after its discovery, the pottery workshop of Nausharo (province of Baluchistan, Pakistan), which yielded a series of knapped stone tools in association with unbaked sherds and clay waste, is still of unique importance in Asian protohistorical studies. The types of pottery production (sandy marl fabrics) identified in this workshop, which is dated to ca. 2500 BC, correspond to the majority of the domestic pottery discovered at the site during the first two phases of the Indus Civilisation. The flint blades discovered in the workshop were made from exotic flint, coming from zones close to the great Indus sites such as Mohenjo-Daro and Chanhu-Daro. This is also the origin of a small amount of the pottery (micaceous fabrics) found at Nausharo in domestic contexts, e.g. Black-Slipped-Jars. The butts of the blades display features characteristic of pressure detachment with a copper pressure point. Gloss and microwear traces (polish) testify to the blades' having been used for finishing the clay vessels: for actual finishing (trimming) while they were being turned on a wheel, and possibly also for scraping by hand. Both of these operations are distinctly attested to by the presence in the workshop of two different types of clay shavings. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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