Alamgirpur (to the east of Delhi). Embracing an area larger than the
  present size of Pakistan, its sites are spread out in an area of nearly half a
  million square miles. Though there are lively scholarly debates on the
  origin, decline and chronology of the civilisation, there is little to dispute
  about its cultural maturity and uniformity, its flourishing agriculture,
  diversified crafts and far-flung commercial contacts, its uniform script (yet
  to be deciphered) and its religious beliefs and rituals. It marks the first
  phase of urbanisation in the subcontinent with Harappa, Mohenjodaro,
  Lothal, Kalibangan and Dholavira as extensive urban centres and a large
  number of smaller towns.
Origins and Evolution of the Harappan Civilisation Thanks to the recent
excavations at Mehrgarh and other sites in Baluchistan and Sind, we now
have for the northwestern region, a continuous archaeological succession
from the beginning of the village economy to the threshold of the Harappan
civilisation. Yet, we are not anywhere near an understanding of how and why
this urban civilisation took its particular shape. As per the acknowledged
ideas of history and anthropology, urbanism is not possible without a state
level political organisation. We do not know how a Harappan ruling class
came to power, by what methods it mobilised surplus, or how it managed
inter-regional relations. We are not even sure whether there was one state or
several autonomous but interacting states. Characteristic features of the urban
period are present in a formative form in the ‘Early Harappan’. This
precursor phase, with great similarities among the Amri, Kot Diji and Sothi
cultures, must have seen intensified interactions between societies, and also
increasing political control. But there are changes in the spread of sites over
the map, in the scale of monumental architecture, and in craft production.
Continuities in domestic artefacts and rural technologies between prestate and
state periods are to be expected. Continuities in artefactual traditions aside,
what we need to know is in what way the intrusion of Mature Harappan traits
at a site founded in an earlier period, represents the imposition of state
institutions over a community. The nature of the transition will also become
clearer if particular aspects of change are studied in depth, as has been done
with flaked stone tools. These studies reveal a reduced reliance on stone in
the urban period and indicate       that flaked stone tool kits became more