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Department of Archaeology

Introduction

Definition
Archaeology (American Archeology) is the scientific study of material remains which are at least 75 years old. These material remains are mostly found through careful explorations and excavations of archaeological sites with applications of modern scientific instruments and methods. The materials reveal from such activities are commonly known as antiquities which are culturally of paramount significance. Archaeology alike history and anthropology deals with human story in manifolds. Museums are also productions of archaeological discipline which thoroughly cope with the wider range of man in association of its environment.

Prehistoric Pakistan
Moreover, Pakistan is a blessed country in terms of cultural genesis and rise and fall of civilizations. Mighty civilizations such as Indus and Gandhara Civilizations are also the indigenous productions. The country has an ancient history dating some 2 million years ago when man was a wanderer and living in caves and rock-shelters in several corners of the world. During this time, man only lived by hunting and gathering for which he made tools out of stone. Certain stone tools and implements are recovered through archaeological surveys and excavations.

Balochistan
Balochistan, similarly, also enjoys a history that is millennia old. Balochistan is the largest of all provinces in terms of geographical occupation ca. 43.5% of the whole country. The province is adjoining Iran in the southwest, Afghanistan in the northwest, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the northeast, the Punjab in the north and Sindh in the northeast. In addition, Balochistan has a coastline of some 786 kms long in the south & southwest which falls in the Arabian Sea. Historically, it is the home of many ancient and old cultures and civilizations. Its past was an enigma among the scholars of the field. Only a century back, the history of Balochistan was dated with the advent of Alexander the Great in the last quarter of the 4th century BCE.

Balochistan Archaeology
Soon the scientific archaeological explorations commenced in the province in the early 1950s particularly in the Quetta valley which brought many ancient cultural manifestations in the light and, thus, pushed back the timeline of Pakistan to the Aceramic Neolithic Horizon. In the meanwhile, the discovery of Mehrgarh in 1970s revealed a nuclear culture ranging from 8th millennium BCE to mid-3rd millennium BCE. Nausharo another archaeological site near Mehrgarh in the Kachhi Plains, continued this culture from mid-3rd millennium BCE to 18th century BCE when Mehrgarh was completely abandoned; similarly, Pirak, a site in Sibi, shared this cultural horizon from 17th century BCE until the mid of 7th century BCE. It seems, there is a huge continuity of cultural process from the Last Stone Age to the rise of Achaemenian Civilization in Persia. As a whole, the province archaeologically, is not less than a paradise to better record the chrono-cultural sequence of the ancient settlers of the province but it also provided a straight chronology to the whole South Asia from 7th to 8th millennium BCE to 7th century BCE without any irregularities.



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