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Mehergarh

Mehrgarh, a 9000 year old site of settlement, is located at the foot of the Balochistan hills on the Katchi plain southeast of Quetta, situated strategically near the Bolan Pass. Neolithic Mehergarh consists of four mounds. Supported by the Pakistan Department of Archeology, French archeologists have been carrying out extensive excavations there for some years. These excavations, studies and research have led to pushing back these settlements to some 9000 years. Thus, the chronology of civilization in Pakistan, established through the study of Moenjodaro and Harappa, has been pushed back by over 4000 years. The habitation of the site has been divided into seven periods, the first being the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period that dates to circa 7000 B.C. or even earlier. The site was abandoned between 2000 and 2500 B.C. during a period of contact with the Indus Civilization and then reused as a burial ground for some time after 2000 B.C.

Perhaps the most important feature of Mehrgarh is the fact that one can witness its gradual development from an early village society to a regional center that covered an area of 200 hectares at its height. In the course of this development, a huge platform that may reflect some form of authority was constructed at the site. Mehrgarh was also a center of manufacture for various figurines and pottery that were distributed to surrounding regions

Research shows that people here lived in houses and were involved in hunting, domesticating of animals and farming cereals like barley and wheat. This hunting-farming society developed gradually and their pursuits were creative. During the early period these people used stone and bone tools i.e. polished stone-axes, flint blades and bone-pointers. By 6000 B.C. the hand-made pottery appeared and in the 5th millenium B.C. Metallurgy and potter-wheel were introduced and they produced some fine terra-cotta figurine and pottery with exotic geometric designs.

Subsequently they produced and wore ornaments of beads, seashells and semi-precious stones like Lapis Lazuli. A museum has been set up at sibi where a wide range of rare finds from the site of mehergarh are on display. This is a wonderful archeological display for interested tourists.

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