change this view, so far as archaeological crossdatings are concerned.
The advent of radiocarbon dating has provided a welcome new source of
information of what must otherwise have remained a very vague position,
and may well necessitate a revision of the earlier views.
Walter Fairservis, by 1956 had seen in the radiocarbon dates of his
excavations in the Quetta valley a need to bring down the dating of the
Harappan culture to between 2000 and 1500 BC.
In 1964 D P Agarwal was able to plot some two dozen dates, including
those for Kot-Diji, Kalibangan and Lothal. He concluded that the total span
of the culture should be between 2300 and 1750 BC.
Thus, the use of the MASCA (Magazine of Applied Sciences and Centre
for Archaeology, Philadelphia State University, US) calibration for
radiocarbon dates removes one part of the difficulty formerly felt in relating
the Indus chronology to that of Mesopotamia. It must be admitted that there
is still plenty of room for uncertainty particularly regarding the late dates and
the final stages of the Mature Indus civilisation.
Indus civilisation belongs to the bronze age. Hence, it is older but
surprisingly more developed than the Chalcolithic cultures in the
subcontinent. It was the largest cultural zone of the period—the area covered
by it (nearly half a million square miles or about 1.3 million sq. km.) being
much greater than that of either the Mesopotamian or the Egyptian
civilisation. Over 1000 sites have been discovered so far. It extends from
Ropar (Punjab) in the north to Bhagatrav (Gujarat) in the south (1l00 km),
and from Sutkagendor (Pakistan-Iran border) in the west to Alamgirpur (UP)
in the east (1600 km). But, according to the latest excavations, the
northernmost site is Manda (Jammu & Kashmir) and the southernmost,
Recent excavations in Rajasthan (1994–95) have revealed a 4000-year-
old village settlement of the Chalcolithic Age at Balathal, near Udaipur.
Strong cultural affinities between Balathal and the late Indus or Harappan
settlements are evident in the large and complex structures made of stone and
mud-brick; fabrics, shapes and designs of ceramics; copper and bronze tools,