In the early days of nation building the past was used as a nation-building force. Many notions of Indian civilization had already been projected by the colonial administration and the early Indologists. The Harappan past was then seen through this lense. But how “Indian” was the Indus valley civilization? Could it have been organized by the lines of caste, and could it have been an age without war, as often suggested?

Shereen Ratnagar was Professor of Archaeology at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India and is now an independent scholar noted for her own work on investigating an apparent decline of Indus Civilization. Ratnagar was educated at Deccan College, Pune, and at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.