Processing of mollusc shells in the Indus culture

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The processing of mollusk shells in the Indus Valley Civilization is in Indus witnessed since the seventh millennium BC and is an important aspect of the Indus civilization (ca. 2500-1800 v. Chr.). In may With the advent of the actual Indus Valley Civilization then an outright industry with snail shells and mussel shells of sea-dwelling mollusks can be observed in various places . The coastal inhabitants collected sea ​​snails and mussels to process the shells and for consumption. These were first roughly processed and then brought into the interior of the country, where they were made into end products. Mollusc shells and products made from them can therefore be found in almost all places of this culture.

The main types of mollusks used were:

Small mollusc shells were often simply pierced and used like pearls. Other products made from mollusc shells were bracelets, spoons and toy figures. Also beads were used. Inlays, which had the advantage over bone and ivory that they did not yellow, were also particularly popular . This inlay probably once adorned furniture or other objects made from materials that are now past.

After all, natural mollusc shells were also popular, mostly clam shells (i.e. two-flap shells) that were used as spoons, scrapers or cosmetic containers.

See also


  • JM Kenover: Shell work of the Indus civilization In: Günter Urban (Hrsg.): Forgotten cities on the Indus. Early cultures in Pakistan from the 8th to the 2nd millennium BC Chr. Von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein 1987, pp. 224–227, ISBN 3805309570

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