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Time and Rectangular Seals

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    Petristan

    The state of Petristan in the Indian subcontinent spreads across the watershed of Paratha River system to the west and Korma River in the East. The early civilization of the Paratha Valley has been acknowledged as one of the past glories of southern Asia ranging from 2700 to 1700 B.C. Today, recent findings have suggested that this civilization was profoundly influential on the formation of the Petristan state. Therefore, the Petristan State Archaeological Survey has investigated 5000 sherds derived from eighteen probably states which were selected by random sampling techniques. Fifteen sites that are thought be single-period villages and three urban sites, Garam Masala, Tiltandula and Phul-Gobi, were carefully looked at. In order to derive a chronological order of these assemblages, the relative dating method of seriation has been implemented. Through this, the initial development of Petristan through the influence of Paratha Valley can be understood to a further extent. Through research, it has been discovered that the date 2200 B.C. is prominent in dividing the occurrence of square ended seals from the rectangular ended seals. Any sites with the evidence of square ended seals are likely to have existed prior to 2200 B.C., while other sites with rectangular seals would have been settled after this time period. With this in mind, the sites “B”, “D”, Garam Masala (GM) and Phul-Gobi Lower (PGL) that had the square ended seals probably existed prior to 2200 B.C. On the other hand, rectangular seals were found in sites “B”, “C”, “E”, Tiltandula (T) and Phul-Gobi Upper (PGU), which allow archeologists to assume that they existed after this particular time. Interestingly, site “B” has both the square and rectangular seals, which allows investigators to look out for the possibility that the site existed prior to 2200 B.C. and for some time after. It is also indicated that PGL and PGU are radiocarbon dated back to 2450 ± 70 B.C. and 2100 ± 50 B.C. With this information put to the side, I reorganized Table 5.1 from the article into Table 1.1. Then, I ran an incidence seriation to calculate the similarity coefficients.

    The calculated results are on Table 1.2. There were thirteen artifact types that have been analyzed. From this table, we can see that sites “C-E”, “F-H”, “I-O”, “J-K”, “GM-PGL” and “T-PGU” have the complete similarity coefficients of 13. With further analysis of the incidence matrix, I was able to divide the sites into three groups with similar characteristics. To begin with, the first group (Table 1.2) included sites: “I”, “J”, “K”, “L”, “M”, “N” and “O”. The common characteristic that they shared was that most of them used pottery types W1, W3, F2 and cooking vessels (**W – water storage pots, F – food containers). Although the abundance of these pottery types differs, the sites demonstrated the usages and non-usage of similar potteries. The second group (Table 1.3) was compromised of sites “A”, “C”, “E”, T and PGU. This particular assembly used pottery types W1, F1, F4, cooking vessels, some ceremonial vessels and rectangular seals. These sites were distinguishable from the previous cluster as it used more food containers and less water storage pots. Lastly, the third group (Table 1.4) included sites: “B”, “D”, “G”, “F”, “H”, GM and PGL. Again similar attributes were discovered. From this classification, pottery types W1, W2, F1, F5, cooking vessels, some ceremonial vessels and seals were discovered. Interestingly, these sites complemented group 1 as they did not use W3 or F2, instead, there was an abundance of W2, F1 and F5. Now, putting all the information together, we can assume that group 2 with the usage of rectangular seals existed after 2200 B.C., group 3 with evidence of square seals flourished prior to 2200 B.C., and lastly group 1 which is the assemblage of only single period villages existed somewhere in the middle. Then, I put together an order within these subgroups and attempted to organize the sites. Due to the fact that the incidence index did not give an accurate result, the method of abundance seriation was applied for more accurate order. So to put forth an estimated chronological order of the sites, I got the following result:

    1) H6) PGL11) L16) C
    2) F7) B12) I17) E
    3) GM8) M 13) K18) T
    4) D 9) N 14) J 19) PGU
    5) G 10) O 15) A

    In addition to this, the pottery types can also be seriated through the given information. First off, cooking vessels seem to be the most abundant in all sites through the time period. Therefore it would have been the oldest pottery type existing. Then taking the relative results from the chronological order of the sites, W2, F1 F5 would come next. Then the communities would start forming square seals and W1. Moving onto the next group of sites from the following time period, the usage of W1 flourishes and W2 disappears. New types of potteries are introduced which are W3, F2 and F3. During this time period, the usage of square seals seems to be stopped. Regarding the last group, only W1 has survived and the societies look to have returned to using F1. New pottery, F4 is introduced along with rectangular seals.

    Pottery Type Order: C, W2, F1, F5, Z, W1, Seals (Square-Ended), W3, F2, F3, F4, Seals (Rectangular-Ended)

    This chronological ordering is not exact as there may have been nonchronological factors that have influenced the pottery frequencies. To begin with, when regarding the spatial factor, the locations of these sites are crucial. Some sites may have had an abundance of water storage pots, as they were distant from the water system. Those who lived in the valleys would have had to fetch water in several types of pots to maintain for a long duration of time. In addition to this, the religious ceremonial vessels were only discovered in the urban sites. This probably is not a coincidence. It reads in the article that the ceremonial vessels were only discovered in “temples: and in the most stately and luxurious pleasure domes. A single period village would not have this type of infrastructure. Lastly, the population and the social class division of each site would have to be analyzed in order for further accurate result.

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    Time and Rectangular Seals. (2016, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/time-and-rectangular-seals/

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