Mehrgarh

  • Swennen, C. 2007: Costasiella coronata, new species, and a revised diagnosis for the family Costasiellidae (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia: Sacoglossa). Raffles bulletin of zoology, 55(2): 355-362. Full article (PDF)  
    • oned = Approximately 2600 BCE
 |epochs = Neolithic
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 |excavations = 1974–1986, 1997–2000
 |archaeologists = Jean-François Jarrige, Catherine Jarrige
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Mehrgarh (Balochi: Mehrgaŕh; Pashto: مهرګړ‎; Urdu: مہرگڑھ‎; Hindi: महरगढ़), sometimes Anglicized as Mehergarh or Mehrgar, near the capital of the Kachi District Dadhar, is one of the most important Neolithic (6500 BCE to c. 2500 BCE) sites in archaeology. It lies on the Kacchi Plain of Balochistan, Pakistan. It is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia.[1][2]

Map of Pakistan showing Hehrgarh in relation to the cities of Quetta, Kalat, and Sibi and the Kachi Plain of Balochistan.

Mehrgarh is located near the Bolan Pass, to the west of the Indus River valley and between the Pakistani cities of Quetta, Kalat and Sibi. The site was discovered in 1974 by an archaeological team directed by French archaeologists Jean-François Jarrige and Catherine Jarrige, and was excavated continuously between 1974 and 1986, and again from 1997 to 2000. The earliest settlement at Mehrgarh, in the northeast corner of the 495-acre (2.00 km2) site, was a small farming village that has been dated to between 6500 BCE to 5500 BCE. The whole area covers a number of successive settlements. Archaeological material has been found in six mounds, and about 32,000 artifacts have been collected.Afghanistan shows good contact with those areas. A single ground stone axe was discovered in a burial, and several more were obtained from the surface. These ground stone axes are the earliest to come from a stratified context in the South Asia. Periods I, II and III are contemporaneous with another site called Kili Gul Mohammed.

In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. Later, in April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (i.e. in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. According to the authors, their discoveries point to a tradition of proto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of that region. "Here we describe eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Pakistan that dates from 7,500 to 9,000 years ago. These findings provide evidence for a long tradition of a type of proto-dentistry in an early farming culture."[11]

Mehrgarh Period II and Period III

Mehrgarh Period II 5500 BCE4800 BCE and Merhgarh Period III 4800 BCE3500 BCE were ceramic Neolithic (i.e., pottery was now in use) and later chalcolithic. Period II is at site MR4 and period III is at MR2.[8] Much evidence of manufacturing activity has been found and mo