Indus valley - Mehrgarh
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Mehrgarh (Balochi: Mehrgaŕh; Pashto: مهرګړ; Urdu: مہرگڑھ;) - is a Neolithic (7000 BCE to c. 2500/2000 BCE) site located near the Bolan Pass on the Kacchi Plain of Balochistan, Pakistan, to the west of the Indus River valley. The earliest settlement was from circa 6500 BCE. Archaeological material has been found in six mounds, and about 32,000 artefacts have been collected.
In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh made the discovery that the people had knowledge of proto-dentistry. In April 2006, it was announced in Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (i.e. in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. "Here we describe eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Pakistan that dates from 7,500 to 9,000 years ago. These findings provide evidence for a long tradition of a type of proto-dentistry in an early farming culture."
There are two types of burials in the Mehrgarh site. There were individual burials where a single individual was enclosed in narrow mud walls and collective burials with thin mud brick walls within which skeletons of six different individuals were discovered. Shaivism traditionally uses ‘houses’ to place the dead, thus helping to confirm the nature of the beliefs here. Two flexed burials were found in Mehrgarh with a red ochre cover on the body, indicating understanding of the universal symbolism of red ochre.
The oldest ceramic figurines in South Asia were found at Mehrgarh. They occur in all phases of the settlement and were prevalent even before pottery appears. By 4000 BC they ‘began to show their characteristic hairstyles and typical prominent breasts’. All the figurines were female. Scholars prefer using the term "female figurines with likely cultic significance". These figurines from Mehrgarh, similar to the Venus figurines found all over the Indus valley, indicate that spiritually they were very much a part of the Indus valley and used High Priestesses as did the other sites.