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Among a bewildering mass of archaeological reports and learned papers the small book of the late Dr. Ernest Mackay, The Indus Civilization, published in 1935, has provided an excellent concise outline of the subject. It has now been reissued under a significantly amended title, with revisions and additions by the author's widow. New maps and illustrations have also been added.
Since 1935 further researches have considerably modified our earlier view of the Indus culture. The excavations at Chanhu-daro, conducted by Dr. Mackay for the American School of Indie and Iranian Studies have shown that the culture of which the Harappā remains are the type was superseded, in this part of Sind at any rate, by later intrusive cultures, those of Jhukar and Jhangar (p. 3). Advances in Mesopotamian chronology have permitted a closer estimate of the date of the abandonment of the Indus cities. This, it appears, took place at about the same time as the end of the first Babylonian dynasty, which, on the most recent evidence, must be placed as late as the sixteenth century b.c. (p. 157). It has been conclusively shown that we may no longer retain the rather Utopian picture suggested by reports of earlier excavations, which seemed to reveal an affluent commercial people, living in comfort and security in unfortified cities, and free from the oppressions of a theocratic government such as ruled in contemporary Sumer and Egypt.
Dr. Mackay and all serious archæologists doubted the accuracy of this picture. In the first edition of The Indies Civilization it was pointed out that the control of such well-planned cities as Mohenjo-daro and Harappā demanded a highly organized government, that the excavations had not been completed, and that further work on the sites might reveal fortresses and royal palaces.
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