harappan social structure pdf


Processing-for-site-use-and-exchange: under the city-centralized models this would occur during and after urbanization as a result of the changing demands on the villages from the developing cities. Pooideae grasses are rabi crops, sown in NovemberDecember and harvested AprilMay, fed by winter rains,16 whilst Chloridoideae and Panicoideae grasses are kharif, summer sown.16 This could reflect the nature of rainfall of Haryana, which overlaps the monsoonal and winter rainfall systems. Petrie and Dr R.N. These are: Harappa (Punjab), Mohenjo-Daro (Sind) and Ganweriwala (Punjab) in Pakistan, and Dholavira (Gujarat) and Rakhigarhi (Haryana) in India (Fig.1). The Indus Civilization (3rd to 2nd millennium BC) has been understood primarily through the study of its cities. This implies that a more varied crop assemblage might have been used before urbanization. Evidence of charring was noted, and the number of less durable phytoliths such as trichomes (hairs) was compared between samples.32. The morphotypes used to identify C3 and C4 plants can be seen in Table5. Crops such as barley, wheat and millet required processing to make them edible.16 The stages of processing carried out reflect the aims of the crop production, the nature of the exchange networks and the relationships between sites, providing an insight into questions of social organization and change in the past.17,18 Crop processing has traditionally been considered as a means to distinguish sites as agricultural producers or consumers,19 producers deemed to be those involved in cultivation and consumers as those receiving harvested crops from the producers.20 Hillman21 and Jones22 have used these divisions to define the relationship between sites. pH values of the soil samples from each context. The use and misuse of cereal producer/consumer models in archaeobotany, Environmental Archaeology: Meaning and Purpose, If the threshing floors could talk: integration of agriculture and pastoralism during the Late Harappan in Gujarat, India, A simple method of extraction of opal phytoliths from sediments using a non-toxic heavy liquid, International code for phytoliths nomenclature 1.0, Study of opal phytoliths in Prehistoric ash layers from Kebara and Tabun Caves using a quantifying approach, Phytoliths: Applications in Earth Sciences and Human History, Food and fodder: plant usage and changing sociocultural landscapes during the Harappan phase in Gujarat, India, Palaeoecology and the Harappan civilisation of South Asia: a reconstruction, Minimising risk? Whilst the water is removed by evapotranspiration, the silica is deposited in the cells and hardens to form a cast of the cell.3 The functions of the different organs of the plant are reflected in the different cell shapes and therefore in different phytolith morphologies.3 This allows for the determination of [the] plant part.4 Being formed of silica, phytoliths are more resistant to decay and other taphonomic processes than macrobotanical remains would be, allowing archaeologists to consider parts of the plant beyond the grain and tougher glume. II, Protohistory, Archaeology of the Harappan Civilisation (2002), Routine activities, tertiary refuse and labour organisation: social inferences from everyday archaeobotany, Ancient Planets and People, Contemporary Trends in Archaeobotany, Agriculture and the development of complex societies, From Foragers to Farmers, Papers in Honour of Gordon C. Hillman, Investigating crop processing using phytolith analysis: the example of rice and millet, An investigation of agricultural consumption and production for Prehistoric and Roman Britain, Reconstructing crop husbandry practices from the charred remains of crops, Interpretation of archaeological plant reconstruction: ethnographic models from Greece, Plant and Ancient Man: Studies in Palaeoethnobotany (1984), Crop Husbandry Practices. People were aware of the potential for optimizing their economic activities in a diverse ecology50 and of the potential hazards of their immediate environments. The grass (Poaceae) subfamilies expected, based on evidence from other sites were the following: HWKrTGPh|W=iP$j*l^+&s@9@~^f|zH7wxXER,U0.qy}0x!9b}. One of the archaeological contexts to which phytoliths analysis is beginning to be applied is that of the Indus Civilization of west South Asia (26001900 BC, Table1). Arguments surrounding the social organization of the Indus Civilization have revolved mainly around whether the Indus was a state or not.9 The concept of a state is highly debated amongst archaeologists10,11 but has generally been envisioned as a form of political organization with a centralized leadership and economy, a hierarchically ranked social system.9 Archaeological evidence from the Indus Civilization, however, suggests that whilst there was a veneer of homogeneity in the culture, this covers a large degree of regional diversity.9 Kenoyer12 and Possehl9 have suggested that the single state concept is not applicable to the Indus Civilization, as evidence of centralized controlsuch as the palaces, temples and differentiated burials seen in other early states like Mesopotamiaare not present at any of the cities.9 Rather, they have argued that the Indus Civilization comprises regional polities9 or citystates.12 Both models assume that control was centralized at a regional urban centre, which dominated the political and economic organization of its rural hinterlands. The crop assemblages identified through the phytolith analysis also suggest some interesting patterns contrary to those assumed by the centralized models of social organization. Drawing a line beneath the consumer city, Roman Urbanisation, Beyond the Consumer City (1997), Environmental Archaeology: Meaning and Purpose (2001), Investigating changing settlement dynamics on the plains: the 2009 survey and excavations at Masudpur (Hissar District, Haryana), When method meets theory. This provided an indication of the amount of plant material deposited in each context. Approaches to pre-Harappan human ecology in the Northwest margin of the Greater Indus system, Changing patterns of settlement in the rise and fall of Harappan urbanism and beyond: a preliminary report on the Rakhigarhi Hinterland Survey 2009, The Ancient Indus, Urbanism Economy and Society, The Author 2011. This suggests that both types of context could provide evidence of the uses of crops. 0000000788 00000 n 0000000881 00000 n 0000033717 00000 n Four villagesMasudpur III, V, VIII and XIwere larger than the others (2.33ha) during the early Harappan period, suggesting a local hierarchy. 0000001305 00000 n In all contexts there were considerably more lower than higher stage morphotypes identified, suggesting similar assemblages in all contexts regardless of the types of contexts. Exchange is seen as key to the social organization of the Indus Civilization, argued to have integrated the cities with their hinterlands and with other citystates,12 and was theorized to have centralized at the cities during the urbanization period.

0000007265 00000 n Hypothesis 2: During the Early Harappan period a mixed assemblage of crops was used in villages, but this changed due to the administrative demands of the cities to a single crop system. 0000004188 00000 n Alongside the question of the social organization of the Indus Civilization is a debate over the causes of urbanization. These models of social organization and exchange both focus on the cities, assuming that the rural villages would have been altered by the centralizing effects of urbanization. The assemblage identified from the Masudpur VII phytoliths showed that a mixture of crops and cropping seasons was being used. 0000018471 00000 n Hierarchical, centralized control at cities could still have occurred in the Indus but not necessarily in every region or in every relationship within a region. This helps to ascertain whether city-centralized models of social organization can be applied to all aspects of ruralurban interactions. 0000003008 00000 n Figure4 shows that both types of context have evidence of both lower and higher morphotypes. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. I should also like to thank Dr Sheila Kohring, Dr John Robb, and Professor Martin Jones for their advice, Dr Charly French and Tonko Rajkovaca for helping with the pH testing, and the George Pitt Rivers Laboratory at the McDonald Institute for allowing me to use their laboratory facilities. This study set out to consider the impact of urbanization on the villages of the Indus Civilization and whether models assuming the centralization of production and exchange activities at cities holds true for all sites. This study concludes that contrary to the assumed city-focused models, the aims of the processing, composition of the crop assemblage and the local environmental conditions at Masudpur VII were not altered by the development of the city of Rakhigarhi in close proximity to it. Figure6 suggests a slight change towards more Pooideae grasses during the Mature Harappan period, but this change is only 3%. The village up to this point has been discussed only in terms of its relationship to the city, but this oversimplifies the social landscape in which it was situated. The application of phytolith analysis to samples from this village have, therefore, provided a new aspect to this heavily debated issue, and the question arises as to what the continuity in practices indicates about the nature of social organization and the relationship between the city of Rakhigarhi and the village of Masudpur VII. The pH of the soil samples can be seen in Table6. 0000027753 00000 n 0000006625 00000 n Amount of phytoliths per gram of AIF. Phytolith analysis has enabled this study to identify the aims of crop processing beyond the traditional producer and consumer models by allowing one to look beyond the more robust parts of the plant to the archaeologically ephemeral parts. The Land, Water, Settlement Project (co-directed by C.A. The villagers perception of the niches in the exchange network and the immediate environmental conditions would have guided their choice to retain the mixed system, rather than the village automatically altering it owing to the demands from the city or because of long-term, gradual climate changes. The phytolith evidence from Masudpur VII, rather than showing the assumed patterns of change, showed continuity in crop production and exchange. Very little change occurred between the two periods. Using the model of processing aims, it is suggested that processing at Masudpur VII was primarily aimed at exchange, with some processing for site use. Some higher stage morphotypes will still be present as some crops were being processed for site use, but will form a smaller proportion of the assemblage. Thomas43 has argued that local systems of exchange were one way to buffer against the hazards of low productivity, as they created interdependent groups in which different villages focused on different products and could be called upon for food if one area of production failed. 3 at p77, The Indus civilisation; an introduction to environment, subsistence and cultural history, The Indus Valley culture seen in the context of post glacial climatic and ecological studies in the north-west India, Issues in Harappan archaeobotany: retrospect and prospect, Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Vol. It could be suggested that Masudpur I was a large village integrated into the city hinterland exchange systems, allowing for the interaction between city and village exchange systems and for exchange to occur not through centralized control but through diverting the existing pathways. Rather than a fully arid-adapted assemblage being used or suddenly developed, a mixed system was adopted early on and continued to be used during the urbanization period. Whilst some of the by-products of crop processing, such as straw, could have been used as building material29 (which had the potential to confuse the phytolith suite), the samples chosen were collapse areas with a build-up of sediment, suggesting they were unused for some time. 0000030431 00000 n Supervisor: Dr Cameron Petrie, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, UK. This pattern of continuity is interesting in relation to Madella and Fuller's41 reinterpretation of the pollen evidence from the lakes of Rajasthan, the state bordering Haryana. It will act as a pilot study for future uses of phytolith analysis on the issue of social organization and villagecity interactions. Possehl14 has argued that the Indus Civilization rests on a long history of food production, and in the Indus this food was likely to have been produced by the villages in the hinterlands of the cities.7 Exploring whether the nature of agricultural production and exchange changed over the urbanization period is therefore a useful way to consider the impacts of urbanization on the villages, and to what extent we can apply the city-focused models of social organization. 0000027674 00000 n However, to explore whether a dendritic system of exchange developed, incorporating the local systems into a larger network, the nature of crop processing at the other villages, especially Masudpur I, must be explored. The continuity in practices despite the urban expansion of Rakhigarhi nearby could suggest that the city had no impact on village life. Chloridoideae, mostly weed grasses but includes finger millet.39, Panicoideae, millet, sorghum, sugarcane.39, Morphotypes used to identify the subfamilies. It has already been suggested that, contrary to the cultureclimate hypothesis, a big sudden change in the types of crops used did not occur, suggesting that other factors may have been responsible for urbanization.

Reddy's30 division of the stages of crop processing into lower and higher (Fig.2) was applied to the model of crop processing aims developed above, using proportions developed from Harvey and Fuller.31 The lower stages were hypothesized by Reddy30 to occur when cultivation is geared towards consumption38 or exchange, as only the parts that would make storage or transportation were removed.

Using these divisions, a site can both be processing-for-site-use-and-exchange and also after-exchange, removing the need to label it as a producer or consumer. %PDF-1.3 % Within the grass family (Poaceaesee below for crops included in this), some stem and husk phytolith cannot be identified beyond the Poaceae family level.31 However, some leaf short cells can be identified to the subfamily level, allowing for an exploration of the crop type. Such parts would otherwise be lost. The mixed assemblage would have allowed villagers to compensate for the possibility of a bad season,43 adding extra support to the buffering provided by the exchange systems. Processing-after-exchange: a larger proportion of higher-stage processing will be seen as the crops will have been processed to the last lower stage before transport.39 A proportion of either 66% higher and 34% lower stage morphotypes of only higher stage morphotypes are expected. Graph comparing the percentages of grass subfamily-specific phytoliths. The Land, Water, Settlement Project located nine contemporaneous villages within the vicinity of Masudpur VII.44 As the phytolith evidence from Masudpur VII suggested that processing was aimed at exchange before the city developed, it can be inferred that it was these other villages with which Masudpur VII was interacting. In order to explore the impact of urbanization on villages, one aspect of agricultural life was focused on crop processing. All of these samples were taken from pit fills or occupation debris with a build-up of sediment. This also suggests that the harvesting method was not removing stem and leaf phytoliths before processing and therefore not biasing the results.

0000001148 00000 n This study also considers whether villages were passively responding to larger processes or making active decisions relating to their uses of crop types. Processing-for-site-use-and-exchange: a larger proportion of lower than higher stage morphotypes should be present following Reddy39 and Harvey and Fuller's31 models. Singh. The villages would therefore have only entered into altered pathways of exchange that benefited them and did not radically alter the developed buffering system. ), the raw material for which is sourced in Afghanistan (Law, 2008, unpublished PhD). Search for other works by this author on: The phytoliths were extracted and slides prepared using methods adapted from Madella. However, models put forwards by Possehl9 and Kenoyer12 suggest that urbanization was not a single homogenous phenomenon, and that the causes of urbanization may therefore be complex. 0000001126 00000 n 0000003459 00000 n From this theoretical background, three hypotheses were developed to explore the nature of the relationship between the cities and villages over the urbanization period: Hypothesis 1: The centralizing effects of the city and changing demands on the rural villages caused a change at a village level from processing-for-site-use to processing-for-site-use-and-exchange. Rather, these patterns could have been a result of the city developing or being embedded in existing systems thereby creating dendritic patterns of interaction and down-the-line movement of goods.45 Changes in the Masudpur villages over this period suggest that larger systems of exchange began to interact with local village systems. Phytoliths, as microbotanical remains, are therefore an alternative and powerful approach5 for understanding the uses of plants in archaeological contexts. The higher stages were those closer to consumption products38 as these were more time consuming and therefore only carried out before use. Percentage of lower and higher stage phytolith indicators in each context. The percentage of C3 and C4 plants were compared to explore if climate change was affecting crop choice. Bakels26 has also suggested that in order to reduce administrative issues, under the city-centralized model, agricultural sites would have specialized in the types of crops grown during and after the urbanization period, in response to the demands of the cities, developing mono-cropping systems. The forces behind urbanization have been explored mainly at the large scale of big dramatic events rather than at the scale, which would have affected village life. 93 0 obj << /Linearized 1 /O 95 /H [ 881 267 ] /L 132032 /E 44329 /N 29 /T 130054 >> endobj xref 93 22 0000000016 00000 n These unused areas would have been perfect for crop processing as waste could be left where it fell. Using samples from Early and Mature Harappan periods at the village site of Masudpur VII in Haryana, India, the aims of crop processing, the crop assemblage and the local environmental conditions have been explored. C4 (Chloridoideae, Panicoideae) plants are adapted to hotter, drier conditions or fluctuating water availability, whilst C3 plants (Pooideae) are found in more moderate conditions.3 The phytolith data from Masudpur VII were compared with the pollen data interpreted by Madella and Fuller.41 Changes in the ratio of C3 to C4 crops used, corresponding with changes in the pollen data, could suggest crop choices were environmentally driven, perhaps affecting social organization. In both the Early and Mature Harappan periods there was notably more lower than higher stage indicators. For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. Similarly, evidence of charred but not distorted phytoliths were found, which suggests burning but in temperatures not high enough to melt silica and affect the phytolith suite. Jennifer Bates, Social organization and change in the Indus Civilization; phytolith analysis of crop processing aims at Masudpur VII, Bioscience Horizons: The International Journal of Student Research, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2011, Pages 112, https://doi.org/10.1093/biohorizons/hzr001. It also suggests that agriculture was not as rigidly controlled as the models of centralized social organization have suggested. Whilst phytoliths are more robust than macrobotanical remains,31 alkaline soils (over pH 9) and burning in temperatures over 950C can destroy the more fragile phytoliths.32 In order to explore whether these had affected the samples, the pH of the soil in each context was tested using a calibrated pH meter. Thomas43 has argued that integrated farming systems, in which several forms of food production including multi-cropping were used, buffered environmental hazards by increasing productivity and extending it over periods where food stores began to run out. This paper uses phytolith analysis, a method of identifying plants and their constituent components using microscopic plant silica, to explore if the development of the cities affected the daily practice of crop processing and exchange in the Indus Civilization. As suggested by the lapis bead, it seems unlikely that the continuity in practices was due to a lack of interaction with other exchange systems. This paper demonstrates that an understanding of ancient civilizations cannot be accurately drawn from the study of only their most conspicuous sites, especially when most of the people lived in the rural hinterlands. Phytoliths are formed when silica occurring naturally in groundwater from the erosion of minerals such as quartz and feldspar3 is drawn into the plants through the roots and transpiration system in the xylem. More Chloridoideae were noted in both periods, but a slight increase in the percentage of Pooideae can be seen in the Mature Harappan period. No significant change was observed and therefore continuity in practices was concluded.

It can therefore be suggested that little variation occurred between the contexts in terms of processing waste and taphonomic processes of destruction, and that these samples can therefore be used to further explore issues of crop processing and exchange by applying the data to the hypotheses. Both pit and occupation fills have two low and two higher values, suggesting the nature of the context was not affecting the results. The aim of this study was to explore if the assumptions made about the social organization of the Indus Civilization from the point of view of the cities can be applied to all aspects of ruralurban interaction. 0000001480 00000 n Food production, particularly that of staple crops, is one of the key links between a city and the villages that surround it. Processing-for-site-use: all the stages needed to make a crop edible should be present in equal (50%) amount.31,39. }|$ G*T/8`>I2.u!t-RFm. Different methods result in different amounts of stems and leaves being collected, and the nature of the weed suite.30 In order to explore whether the harvesting method and the context have affected the results, the presence and absence of stem and inflorescence phytoliths were tested. This suggests that although a climate change did occur, with trends towards more aridification, human choice and perception of this was important in daily practices. Whilst phytoliths can be used to distinguish specific plant parts, the nature of plant evolution has led to much of the cellular structure within plant families being shared. Singh) has excavated several village sites in the state of Haryana, India. This study has applied phytolith analysis to samples from a village site with the aim of exploring a new aspect to the question of the social organization of the Indus Civilization.

It was suggested that, rather than a new system of exchange being imposed onto the rural hinterlands of Rakhigarhi, multiple pathways of exchange could have existed in which villages played an active decision-making role, rather than being passive to larger events occurring around them. The perceptions of the villagers, as well as exchange demands and the nature of the local environment, were all factors behind the active exchange and crop-processing choices made at Masudpur VII. Hb```BV7 bE8*0" lY~gu?k"k&Pk%k+;k(L6iK^pEPYBPx#aLW2f`ly2]F B?Wi& 0 ]X1 endstream endobj 114 0 obj 151 endobj 95 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 87 0 R /Resources 96 0 R /Contents 104 0 R /MediaBox [ 0 0 612 792 ] /CropBox [ 0 0 612 792 ] /Rotate 270 >> endobj 96 0 obj << /ProcSet [ /PDF /Text ] /Font << /TT2 101 0 R /TT4 97 0 R /TT6 98 0 R /TT8 105 0 R >> /ExtGState << /GS1 109 0 R >> /ColorSpace << /Cs6 103 0 R >> >> endobj 97 0 obj << /Type /Font /Subtype /TrueType /FirstChar 32 /LastChar 235 /Widths [ 259 0 0 0 0 0 870 0 389 389 0 0 259 333 259 278 519 519 519 519 519 519 519 519 519 519 259 259 0 0 0 444 0 648 549 685 704 593 574 722 722 333 333 667 556 852 741 741 556 741 611 478 611 704 648 963 648 574 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 444 519 444 537 444 296 481 556 278 278 537 278 815 556 519 537 519 370 389 315 556 481 722 519 481 444 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 185 185 426 426 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 444 0 0 0 0 278 0 556 ] /Encoding /WinAnsiEncoding /BaseFont /BGEBMF+Balaram /FontDescriptor 99 0 R >> endobj 98 0 obj << /Type /Font /Subtype /TrueType /FirstChar 32 /LastChar 246 /Widths [ 250 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 389 389 0 0 250 333 250 0 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 250 0 0 0 0 0 0 611 574 648 685 574 556 704 685 315 315 648 537 815 704 685 537 0 574 500 593 704 611 889 0 556 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 481 463 407 481 407 278 463 500 278 278 500 278 741 500 463 481 463 389 370 296 500 444 685 461 481 463 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 574 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 481 389 0 370 0 278 0 500 0 0 0 0 0 370 0 0 0 0 296 ] /Encoding /WinAnsiEncoding /BaseFont /BGEBNG+BalaramItalic /FontDescriptor 102 0 R >> endobj 99 0 obj << /Type /FontDescriptor /Ascent 928 /CapHeight 1000 /Descent -264 /Flags 32 /FontBBox [ -93 -255 1083 928 ] /FontName /BGEBMF+Balaram /ItalicAngle 0 /StemV 86 /XHeight 0 /FontFile2 107 0 R >> endobj 100 0 obj << /Type /FontDescriptor /Ascent 928 /CapHeight 1000 /Descent -260 /Flags 32 /FontBBox [ -102 -250 1129 928 ] /FontName /BGEBMD+BalaramBold /ItalicAngle 0 /StemV 114 /XHeight 0 /FontFile2 108 0 R >> endobj 101 0 obj << /Type /Font /Subtype /TrueType /FirstChar 32 /LastChar 122 /Widths [ 268 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 370 370 0 0 0 276 268 0 537 537 537 537 537 537 537 537 537 537 268 0 0 0 0 0 0 667 593 704 722 593 574 741 722 352 352 0 574 852 741 0 556 0 630 537 630 0 667 981 0 0 0 0 278 0 0 0 0 463 537 444 556 463 315 481 556 296 296 537 296 815 556 519 556 0 389 426 333 556 481 741 519 500 463 ] /Encoding /WinAnsiEncoding /BaseFont /BGEBMD+BalaramBold /FontDescriptor 100 0 R >> endobj 102 0 obj << /Type /FontDescriptor /Ascent 928 /CapHeight 1000 /Descent -267 /Flags 96 /FontBBox [ -130 -260 1019 928 ] /FontName /BGEBNG+BalaramItalic /ItalicAngle -15 /StemV 79.689 /XHeight 0 /FontFile2 112 0 R >> endobj 103 0 obj [ /ICCBased 110 0 R ] endobj 104 0 obj << /Length 2320 /Filter /FlateDecode >> stream