University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Author: George F. Dales

The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo-Daro

By: George F. Dales

Nothing delights the archaeologist more than excavating the ruins from some ancient disaster–be it a flood, earthquake, invasion, or massacre. This does not reflect an inordinately ghoulish tendency in the character of archaeologists. It is simply that a much more complete picture of the life and times of an ancient site is preserved if it […]

Civilization and Floods in the Indus Valley

By: George F. Dales

In addition to Dr. Dales as Field Director, the official staff included the Museum’s architect Aubrey Trik and Stephen Rees-Jones of Queen’s University, Belfast, as Conservator. Helen Trik was Registrar and Barbara Dales was Administrative Secretary. Walter O. Heinze of Swarthmore served as volunteer photographer and field assistant for part of the season. The project was […]

South Asia’s Earliest Writing

Photo of stamp seal
Still Undeciphered

By: George F. Dales

The introduction of the art of writing is recognized as one of the most crucial advances in the history of civilizations. Some scholars have asserted that without writing advanced civilization is impossible. Others have remarked that in antiquity there was virtual technological parity between barbarian and civilized communities and that the practice of writing was […]

The South Asia Section

By: George F. Dales

The South Asia Section can attribute its genesis in large part to a belief in the traditions of the ancient Sumerian seafaring merchants. It was vivid tales of Sumerian and Babylonian merchants and “cultural missions” sailing the treacherous route from the Persian Gulf to “the place where the sun rises” which compelled me in 1959 […]

On Tracking Woolly Kullis and the Like

By: George F. Dales and Louis Flam

Archaeology is a many-faced deity. It (she?) can smile benevolently upon you and order gold and fame to be rained down upon your head; it can order wisdom and keen insight garnished with prospector’s “luck”; it can tease and taunt and deceive and disappoint; create mirages and man­sions and obliterate the same at will. It […]

Shell Working at Ancient Balakot, Pakistan

By: George F. Dales and Jonathan Mark Kenoyer

Balakot is one of four known ancient coastal sites in Pakistan dating to the period of South Asia’s earliest civilization—the Harappan (or Indus)—that flourished in the centuries just before and after 2000 B.C. This little known civilization has intrigued scholars and students since its discovery in the 1920’s. Its geographic range, from the Arabian Sea […]