Shikarpur lithic assemblage: New questions regarding Rohri chert blade production
Recent excavations at Shikarpur, a fortified Harappan site situated near the Gulf of Kuchchh in Gujarat, Western India, brought to light a large collection of Rohri chert blades. Chert found in the Rohri hill near Sukkur in Sindh, central Pakistan is distinctive and easily identifiable. The wide distribution of standardized Rohri chert blades is often regarded as a testimony to the Harappan efficiency in long distance trade and craft production. The possibility of localized production of Rohri chert blades in Gujarat is often negated due to the constraints of raw-material availability. The absence of Rohri chert working debitage from most of the sites in Gujarat, has lent support to this position. The Shikarpur Rohri blade assemblage however incorporates more than 650 blades, a large fluted blade-core and a few Rohri chert debitage. These have led the excavators to suggest that some of the blades found at Shikarpur were locally produced from raw materials brought to the site from the Rohri hills. Typo-technological features of the Rohri chert assemblage from Shikarpur have been analysed in this background. These along with metrical features of the assemblage are compared with Rohri chert assemblages from other major Harappan sites in the region to check the validity of the proposed ‘limited local production’.
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