chapter
62 Pages

THE POTTERY

A wide range of wares has long been discernible in Baluchistan and initially those with singularly dominant styles were accorded almost cultural status, parti­ cularly where they could be associated with artifactual assemblages. This inter­ pretation may still have some validity in respect of the earliest ceramics where a degree of uniformity is apparent in widely dispersed material but the weakness of the concept becomes clear with the proliferation of later wares found together in stratified deposits on the few sites which have been excavated. Comparative analy­ sis of the wares suggests that the manufacture of ceramics expanded significantly during the second half of the fourth millennium though whether technical develop­ ment led to an actual increase in the number of production centres is unknown. At Mehrgarh a variety of styles was being produced in Period IV and experimentation in Period V led to the introduction of both decorated grey and early Wet wares (Mehrgarh, pp.499-501). These wares were perfected during Periods VI to VII but at the same time the Mehrgarh potters were stepping up production of utility wares manufactured under relatively primitive conditions (Audouze and Jarrige, 1979). Apart from Mehrgarh and Mundigak few production centres have been located in or adjacent to Baluchistan and in default of a kiln-site new wares have usually been identified with the sites on which they were first recognised. While this may be expedient for ease of reference, such designations do not necessarily bear any relation to the probable centre of production of a ware as suggested by its distri­ bution .