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Archaeological Site of Rehman Dheri

Date of Submission: 30/01/2004
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Department of Archaeology and Museums
Coordinates: 31° 30” N 70° 5’ 22” E - NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE
Ref.: 1877

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The archaeological site of Rehman Dheri consists of a rectangular shaped mound covering some twenty two hectares and standing 4.5 metres above the surrounding field. The final occupational phase of the site is clearly visible on the surface of the mound by eye and also through air photographs. It consisted of a large walled rectangular area with a grid iron network of streets and lanes dividing the settlement into regular blocks. Walls delineating individual buildings and street frontages are clearly visible in the early morning dew or after rain and it is also possible to identify the location of a number of small-scale industrial areas within the site marked, as they are, by eroding kilns and scatters of slag. The surface of the mound is littered with thousands of shreds and artefacts, slowly eroding out of room fills.

The archaeological sequence at the site of Rehman Dheri is over 4.5 metres deep, and covers a sequence of over 1,400 years beginning at c.3,300 BC. The site represents following periods:

I c.3300-3850 BC

II c.2850-2500 BC

III c.2500-1900 BC

It is generally accept that the settlement received its formal plan in its earliest phases and that subsequent phases replicated the plan over time. Although its excavators have cut a number of deep trenches or soundings into the lower levels, the areas exposed have been too limited to undertake a study of change in layout and the spatial distribution of craft activities. It was abandoned at the beginning of the mature Indus phase by the middle of the third millennium BC and subsequent activities, greatly reduced, are only recorded on the neighbouring archaeological mound, Hisam Dheri. The plan of the Early Harappan settlement is therefore undisturbed by later developments and, as such, represents the most exceptionally preserved example of the beginning of urbanisation in South Asia.