Indus Valley's civilisation 'had first sophisticated exchange system'





According to a new study of clay pots and ceramic tablets discovered almost 70 years ago in Harappa, now in Pakistan, the people of the Indus Valley had a detailed system of commodity value, weights and measures.

Dr Bryan Wells, a researcher based at India's Institute of Mathematical Sciences, told The Daily Telegraph he had begun work on his thesis ten years ago when he first saw photographs of the clay pots with markings which appeared to be in proportion to their relative size.

But he was not able to test his thesis until he visited New Delhi earlier this month where the original pots are stored in one of the city's Mughal era forts. The three pots each had different markings, the smallest with a 'V' to indicate 'measure' and three long strokes. The medium vessel had six strokes and the largest had seven.

When he measured them he found they were in proportionate capacity: 3:6:7.

The inscriptions on the pots matched those on bas relief ceramic tablets which he believes are tokens of exchange for fixed measures of grain or other commodities.


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