J. Mark Kenoyer

A New Look at Textiles and Trade in South Asia during the Protohistoric and Early Historic Periods

This paper will present a critical overview of trade connections between South Asia and West Asia, between 2600 BC and 300 AD. Special focus will be paid to the production of fine textiles including cotton, wool, and silk that may have been produced for use by local elites as well as for external trade. The earliest trade connections between the Indus Valley and West Asia began with overland and marine trade during the period of the Indus Civilization, circa 2600-1900 BC. The subsequent periods of intensive exchange include the periods of the Mauryan and Kushana Empires, dating between 300 BC to around 300 AD. A special focus will be paid to the production and trade of fibers and textiles during this time period and the evidence for linkages with the Mediterranean and later Roman world.

Dr. Kenoyer has been excavating at Harappa, Pakistan since 1986. His main focus is on the Indus Valley Civilization and he has worked in both Pakistan and India since 1974. He has a special interest in ancient technologies and crafts, socio-economic and political organization as well as religion. His publications include monographs on the Indus civilization as well as numerous articles, a grade school book on ancient South Asia and even a coloring book on the Indus cities for children.