Object structure

Ongar: a Source of Chert in Lower Sindh (Pakistan) and Its Bronze Age Exploitation


Between History and Archaeology : papers in honour of Jacek Lech


Biagi, Paolo ; Starnini, Elisabetta


Archaeopress Archaeology

Place of publishing:

Oxford; England

Date issued/created:



ill. ; 29 cm

Type of object:


Subject and Keywords:

Pakistan ; Sindh ; Indus Civilization ; raw material sources ; chert mines and workshops


This paper summarizes the results of twenty-six years of fieldwork carried out by the Italian Archaeological Expedition in Sindh in search for chert sources, and documenting their exploitation in prehistory at least since the Acheulian Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age, Indus Civilization mining areas and workshops. The explorations focused on three main chert sources: the Rohri Hills, Ongar, Daphro and Bekhain Hills, and Jhimpir. They are not the only ones known to date in Sindh that were intensively exploited especially during the development of the Indus Civilization. The economic importance of chert exploitation in the Indus Civilization has often been underestimated by most archaeologists. This fact is evident when reading the published narratives about its handicraft, trade and production, although there is little doubt that this raw material played a fundamental role in the economy of the Indus cities, also as main alternative to metal for making well-defined tools for specific handicrafts. The importance of chert exploitation is testified indeed by the impressive archaeological evidence left behind. It consists of chert mines, chipping floors and blade/bladelet workshops, whose preservation is unfortunately challenged by present-day industrial works still underway. Regretfully, the evidence is under a serious risk of disappearing before it can be fully documented and understood by archaeologists


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