Colours of the Indus: Costume and Textiles of Pakistan

by Nasreen Askari & Rosemary Crill


The first full treatment of Pakistani textiles. Fascinating overview from the earliest evidence (ca.5000 BC) to the present day, illustrated in full colour with many field photographs.

The Indus Valley and Harappan sites, dating from the fourth millennium BC, are now well known, but much earlier even than these is the large settlement where excavations began in 1974 at Mehrgarh in Baluchistan, which dates back to the seventh millennium BC. A sophisticated material culture was certainly in place there by about 5000 BC, and a wealth of decorated pottery from that period has been excavated. Most significant for our purpose, however, is an impression of a woven fabric found in one of the grave sites, together with large finds of cotton seed datable to the fifth millennium BC. These represent the earliest evidence both of cotton cultivation and of textile-weaving in the subcontinent.

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