Indus Valley Culture statuette from Mehrgarh, Period VII, c. 2800-2600 BC
Terracotta statuette of a seated naked and a stylized female (mother goddess?) with child.
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. The earliest figurines are quite simple and do not show intricate features. However, they grow in sophistication with time and by 4000 BC begin to show their characteristic hairstyles and typical prominent breasts. All the figurines up to this period were female. Male figurines appear only from period VII and gradually become more numerous. Many of the female figurines are holding babies, and were interpreted as depictions of the “mother goddess”. However, due to some difficulties in conclusively identifying these figurines with the “mother goddess”, some scholars prefer using the term “female figurines with likely cultic significance.”
Merhgahr is one of the most important Neolithic (7000 BC to c. 2500 BC) sites in archaeology. It lies on the Kacchi Plain of Balochistan, Pakistan. It is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia. Mehrgarh is located near the Bolan Pass, to the west of the Indus River valley and between the Pakistani cities of Quetta, Kalat and Sibi.
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BC; mature period 2600–1900 BC) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread.