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Bones of ComplexityBioarchaeological Case Studies of Social Organization and Skeletal Biology$
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Haagen D. Klaus, Amanda R. Harvey, and Mark N. Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062235

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062235.001.0001

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A Hierarchy of Values

A Hierarchy of Values

The Bioarchaeology of Order, Complexity, Health, and Trauma at Harappa

Chapter:
(p.263) 10 A Hierarchy of Values
Source:
Bones of Complexity
Author(s):

Gwen Robbins Schug

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062235.003.0010

Bioarchaeological insights help elucidate persistent questions on the internal social organization of the Indus (or Harappan) civilization in northwest India and Pakistan during the height of its urban phase, 2200–1900 B.C. This culture was highly complex, as shown through settlement hierarchies, bureaucracies, craft specialization, and communication and trade networks spanning some 1 million square kilometers of territory. Despite over a century of archaeological study, Indus social organization has remained difficult to define, especially with perceived lack of evidence for clear social differentiation. Robbins Schug examines osteological and funerary data to test the notion of a decentralized, heterarchical Harappa. Skeletal trauma and other forms of pathological data show independently how the people of Harappa experienced differential levels of vulnerability, violence, and exclusion of individuals in various spatially distinct mortuary settings, which is most consistent not with heterarchy but a system of vertical social stratification instead.

Keywords:   Indus (or Harappan) civilization, skeletal trauma, heterarchy, vertical social stratification

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