Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside The Ancient Indus

The Ancient Indus
Urbanism, Economy, and Society


Part of Case Studies in Early Societies

  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521576529

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This early civilisation was erased from human memory until 1924, when it was rediscovered. Our understanding of the Indus has been partially advanced by textual sources from Mesopotamia that contain references to Meluhha, a land identified by cuneiform specialists as the Indus, with which the ancient Mesopotamians traded and engaged in battles. In this volume, Rita P. Wright uses both Mesopotamian texts but principally the results of archaeological excavations and surveys to draw a rich account of the Indus civilisation's well-planned cities, its sophisticated alterations to the landscape, and the complexities of its agrarian and craft-producing economy. She focuses principally on the social networks established between city and rural communities; farmers, pastoralists, and craft producers; and Indus merchants and traders and the symbolic imagery that the civilisation shared with contemporary cultures in Iran, Mesopotamia, Central Asia, and the Persian Gulf region. Her study emphasises the interconnected nature of early societies.

    • Indus urbanism
    • Early political economies
    • Comparative study of civilization
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Wright provides a comprehensive and compelling account of the Indus civilization of ancient Pakistan and India. Although she does not neglect material culture, her focus is on the interconnections among climate, geography, agriculture, pastoralism, craft specialization, political economy, internal exchange, trade, urbanism, and ideology that characterize the Indus civilization and help explain its origins, maturation, and decline. Highly recommended.' Choice

    '[This] book is a welcome addition to scholarship on the Indus civilization as it is deals with a broad range of sources and chronological periods in a well-structured and rigorous manner. It should not only be on reading lists for courses on South Asian archaeology but for all courses on early states as it provides an excellent summary of the current state of Indus research in terms of data, debates and theory.' Archaeological Review from Cambridge

    'The Ancient Indus, like other books in the Case Studies in Early Societies series, gives an excellent introduction to an important exemplar of the archaic state. Wright's accessible account of this civilization's forms and history ensures the volume's suitability for graduate and undergraduate courses dealing with South Asian culture history, comparative analyses of ancient states, and the varied methods employed in their study.' American Anthropologist

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521576529
    • length: 418 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.546kg
    • contains: 55 b/w illus. 11 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A long forgotten civilization
    2. Geographical and environmental settings
    3. From foraging to farming and pastoralism
    4. An expanded world of peer polities
    5. Urbanism and states: cities, regions and edge zones
    6. Agrarian and craft producing economies - intensification and specialization
    7. Agrarian and craft producing economies - diversification, organization of production, and exchange
    8. The lure of distant lands
    9. Landscapes of order and difference - the cultural construction of space, place and material access
    10. The final days of urbanism and the Indus civilization: decline, transition and transformation.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Archaeology
    • Archaeology and Prehistory
    • First Farmers to First Cities
    • Intro to World Archaeology
    • Non-Western Art and Culture
    • Origins of Social Inequality
    • Ways to Civilization
    • World Prehistory: Asia
  • Author

    Rita P. Wright, New York University
    Rita P. Wright is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University. A John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow, she has conducted archaeological field research in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. She is the editor of Gender and Archaeology and co-editor, with Cathy L. Costin, of Craft and Social Identity.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.