Statement of Purpose

To plan, create and manage a fully endowed gallery and library dedicated to the art, archaeology and culture of the ancient Sindhu Civilization in the United States in Chicago. The primary objective of this gallery is:
- To inform the general public in the USA about the art, and archaeology of this early urban culture
- To introduce to the world, the unique significance and value of India’s ancient heritage, contemporaneous with the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and early China
- To save and safeguard this great legacy for mankind as a whole.
- to promote the teaching of South Asia and help to realize key goals of educating the young and old, and to link Chicago to the world.


The Sindhu Saraswati Civilization of South Asia is recognized as of the four early urban cultures in the Old World, with roots of dating back to over 7000 BC with the earliest cities emerging in what is now referred to as the Indus Valley and parts of Western India, around 2600 BCE. This urban civilization continued to flourish until around 1900 BCE, the earliest development of stone sculpture, terracotta figurines, and other decorative and ornamental arts can be traced to the cities and towns of the Indus Civilization.

A new phase of urbanism began around 800-600 BCE and spread throughout the greater Indo-Gangetic region and into peninsular India associated with Vedic and Brahmanical religious and cultural traditions, but there is also much continuity from the earlier Indus civilization.

Archaeological and ethnographic studies over the past 100 years have yielded many interesting observations of the people of the Sindhu Indus age. The Sindhu civilization was contemporaneous with other early civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Arabian Gulf, Iran and Central Asia. Although each civilization evolved independently, founded on indigenous cultural traditions and beliefs, they were linked through international trade. The Sindhu cities evolved a distinctive approach to urban planning and water management, many of which were unparalleled in the ancient world. It introduced one of the world’s first writing systems, developed many distinctive technologies and artistic traditions that influenced later cultural and technological traditions in historical South Asia.

The Need

There are no galleries focused on the art and archaeology of the Sindhu Saraswati Civilization in the Americas. The Boston Museum of Fine Art has a limited collection of Indus objects in one or two showcases on display. Other major US museums sometimes have one or two objects on display, but this culture does not form a relevant part of their overall gallery displays or their educational programs.

Displaced Sindhi are in a flux; ever since they lost their homeland their language is vanishing and contributing to the loss of their very identity. The American Institute of Sindhulogy (AIS) has a project to establish a museum and research institute for the Sindhu Saraswati Civilization in the Land of Lincoln. It is essential to further research in this ancient civilization, especially its significance and relevance to the present time.

The past for the future

The Sindhu Saraswati Civilization is the story of mankind’s most ancient societies, beginning with the origin of its first cities, Mohenjo Daro and Sindh, continuing on through the legacy of these cities in later periods and into modern India. It is showcased in the most important archaeological sites and artifacts of the Sindhu Saraswati Civilization and related cultures. These sites and objects are the physical manifestation of the most fascinating and important stories of human achievement.

As a continuation of the work, a World SSC Park is envisaged which will entertain and enlighten millions of visitors a year, taking them back through time to experience what life was like for the people who built the great Sindhu cities of Mohenjo Daro, Dholavira, and Harappa, as well as the smaller towns of Lothal, Surkotada and Kalibangan.

Primary Goals of the SSC

- Promoting Culture and Ancient History of sub-continent of India
- Education in history and about the Old World
- Research into history and the Old World
- Conservation of invaluable historical knowledge and rich culture
- Promotion of essential social values
- Tourism

The SSC’s primary goal is to be a unique museum and international research center that will become the primary destination for students, Americans and foreign visitors to the Sindhu culture. The American Institute of Sindhulogy’s (AIS) Senior Advisory Board and Master Planning Team are collaborating with cultural advisers, government officials, and a broad spectrum of professionals. It is estimated that India invests less than $400,000 a year in conservation, museums and research for the Indus Civilization and archaeological tourism is virtually non-existent. By contrast, Mexico invests over $120 million a year in conservation, museums and promotion of their earliest civilizations, generating over $2.4 billion dollars in tourism revenue. The Sindhu Civilization is equally captivating and promises the same development potential as the world’s other great cradles of civilization such as Egypt, Mexico, Mesopotamia, Anatolia (Turkey) and China.

The SSC is being established for both the general public and the scholarly community to provide scientifically derived information on the earliest urban society of South Asia and its legacy in modern South Asia. The Museum will be involved in supporting research, conservation, training and education relating to archaeological sites and traditional crafts that can provide insight into the daily life and economic organization of the early communities. The ultimate goal is to help people understand the value of a common national and global heritage.

World-Class Museum and Research Institute: Three principal concepts distinguish a great museum:

1. Every aspect of the museum should work in concert to prepare viewers for that “aesthetic experience” when a work of art speaks to them in purely visual, emotional, or intellectual terms. Every element, from the building’s architectural layout down to the smallest details of the visitors’ experience, should be orchestrated to contribute to a positive encounter between the visitor and art.
2. A committed understanding of the fundamental importance of the qualities of light that enhance art and support the act of seeing. To experience art fully, proper lighting is absolutely essential. Appropriate selection of both indirect natural lighting and supplemental artificial lighting heightens the visitor’s experience, while responsibly protecting the art. Controlled use of natural light is also essential in other areas where it enhances activities, defines architectural space, and creates comfortable transitions from the exterior world to the gallery interiors.
3. Behind the scenes, flawless care and protection of the collection is critical. The spaces where the art enters the building, where it is stored, where it is viewed by scholars, curators and researchers and where all the other support functions occur, should similarly work in concert to meet the museum’s primary objectives.

Development of Museum-Class Gallery & conservation of history: The archaeology experts will initiate digital documentation and preparation of multimedia materials with local experts. For a brief overview of major Sindhu sites, a professional filmmaker will film footage of Sindhu sites in Mohenjo Daro, Lothal, Dholavira, Kalibangan, and numerous others, and conduct interviews with local scholars, historians and archaeologists. The films will be used to develop interactive computer presentations that can be put on a web server and downloaded by viewers.

Gallery displays and exhibits will be organized in a way that allows visitors to grasp the high points of the Indus civilization rather quickly, but to spend longer time, if they so desire, exploring each topic in greater depth, allowing for flexibility and a graduated learning experience.

Interactive Computer Presentation Subjects will include the following:
1. Geographic setting
2. Origins of the Sindhu Civilization
3. Character of the Cities
4. Character of the villages & communities
5. Trade and Commerce
6. Writing
7. Sindhu Religion
8. Crafts and Technology
9. Architecture
10. Subsistence
11. Burials
12. Decline and Legacy
13. Archaeological Methods
14. Ethnomusicology

Displaced Sindhis like victims of any displaced people are in a state of flux, Sindhis have no state of their own today their language is vanishing and their very identity is at stake. The American Institute of Sindhulogy (AIS) museum and research institute for the Sindhu Saraswati Civilization is a crucial undertaking to further research in this ancient civilization, especially its significance and relevance to the present time. The program and project would also encompass the lives and works of the four apostles of truth, non violence and tolerance:

- Mahatma Gandhi
- The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan
- Dr Nelson Mandela.
- Aung San Suu Kyi

It would be a unique opportunity for young minds to get introduced to the lives of such leaders and forerunners who have over decades pioneered essential human ideologies into every curriculum. This will establish an invaluable deterrent against all forms of violence, drug and substance abuse as well as crime among our children.

Tourism is the second largest industry in the world after the oil industry. The SSC recognizes the tremendous potential for growth and development in this sector in the US. SSC will be a magnet for domestic and international tourism, spurring new growth and development. Some cases in point:
- Cultural tourism in Egypt today generates over $3 billion
- Turkey is now the most popular destination for Europeans, largely due to its cultural richness.
- Angkor Wat in Cambodia now generates over 30% of the country’s foreign exchange and is the largest single contributor to the country’s Gross National Product. Tourism has grown to over 800,000 visitors per year, generating over $900 million in national tourism revenues in 2003.

A world class museum, with innovative displays, interactive learning, education and research facilities, live programming, a well-equipped library and conservation lab could become the focal point for domestic and international tourism, much like in Mexico and Egypt. SSC will be home not only to a vibrant culture, it will become the gateway to travel circuits centered on major Sindhu civilization sites incorporating local history, beliefs, and craft traditions. Tracing links and continuities from the past could generate significant, yet unexplored, avenues for domestic and international relations.

In conclusion, SSC activities will cover:
- Exhibitions and Galleries
- Interactive site models
- Research & Documentation
- Conservation of history
- Graduate Student Training
- Crafts & Technology Research
- Library, Archiving, & Video Documentation
- Education & Cultural Outreach
- International Seminars
- Craft Workshops and Demonstrations
- Shopping and Dining
- Cultural Performances and Special Events

Selected Bibliographies

Alcock, L. 1986 A Pottery Sequence from Mohenjo Daro: R. E. M. Wheeler’s 1950 “Citadel Mound” Excavations. In Excavations at Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan: the Pottery, edited by G. F. Dales and J. M. Kenoyer, pp. 493-551. Philadelphia, University Museum Press.

Ardeleanu-Jansen, A. 1984 Stone Sculptures from Mohenjo-Daro. In Interim Reports Vol. 1: Reports on Field Work Carried out at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan 1982-83 by IsMEO-Aachen University Mission., edited by M. Jansen and G. Urban, pp. 139-157. Aachen, IsMEO/RWTH.

Ardeleanu-Jansen, A. 1988 The Terracotta Figurines from Mohenjo-Daro: Considerations on Tradition, Craft and Ideology in the Harappa Culture. Lahore Museum Bulletin 1(2): 9-28.

Baloch, N. A. 1973 In Search of the Indus Culture Sites in Sind. In International Symposium on Mohenjo-Daro, Hyderabad, Sind University Press.

Baloch, N. A. 1988 Development of Irrigation Technology in the Indus Civilization. Third South Asian Archaeological Congress, Islamabad, The Department of Archaeology & Museums, Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Government of Pakistan.

Banerji, R. D. 1984 Mohenjodrao: A Forgotten Report. Varanasi, Prithivi Prakashan.

Chaolong, X. 1990 The Kot Dijians and the Harappans: Their Simultaneity, Another Possible Interpretation. In South Asian Archaeology 1987, edited by M. Taddei, pp. 157-202. Rome, IsMEO.

Cucarzi, M. 1987 A Model of Morphogenesis for Mohenjodaro. In Interim Reports Vol. 2: Reports on Field Work Carried out at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan 1983-84 by IsMEO-Aachen University Mission, edited by M. Jansen and G. Urban, pp. 79-90. Aachen, IsMEO/ RWTH.

Dales, G. F. 1965 Re-opening Mohenjo-daro Excavations. Illustrated London News No. 6565(May 29): 25-27.

Dales, G. F. 1966 The Decline of the Harappans. Scientific American 214(5): 93-100.

Dales, G. F. 1979 The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo daro. In Ancient Cities of the Indus, edited by G. L. Possehl, pp. 293-296. New Delhi, Vikas Publishing House PVT LTD.

Dales, G. F. 1979 New Investigations at Mohenjo daro. In Ancient Cities of the Indus, edited by G. L. Possehl, pp. 192-195. New Delhi, Vikas Publishing House PVT LTD.

Dales, G. F. and J. M. Kenoyer 1986 Excavations at Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan: The Pottery. Philadelphia, University Museum Press.

Dani, A. H. 1992 Critical Assessment of Recent Evidence on Mohenjodaro. Second International Symposium on Moenjodaro, 24-27 February, 1992.

During-Caspers, E. C. L. 1987 Was the Dancing Girl from Mohenjo-Daro a Nubian. Annali 47: 99-105.

During-Caspers, E. C. L. and P. J. M. Nieskens 1992 The ‘Calendar Stones’ from Mohenjo-daro Reconsidered. In South Asian Archaeology 1989, edited by C. Jarrige, pp. 83-96. Madison, WI, Prehistory Press.

Fentress, M. A. 1984 Time and Process at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. In Frontiers of the Indus Civilization, edited by B. B. Lal and S. P. Gupta, pp. 99-104. New Delhi, Books and Books.

Flam, L. 1976 Settlement, Subsistence and Population: A Dynamic Approach to the Development of the Indus Valley Civilization. In Ecological Backgrounds of South Asian Prehistory, edited by K. A. R. Kennedy and G. L. Possehl, pp. 76-93. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.

Flam, L. 1981 The Paleography and Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in Sind, Pakistan (ca. 4000-2000 B.C.), PhD, University of Pennsylvania.

Franke-Vogt, U. 1991 Die Glyptik Aus Mohenjo-Daro. Mainz am Rhein, Verlagg Philipp von Zabern.

Gordon, D. H. and M. E. Gordon 1940 Mohenjo-Daro: Some Observations on Indian Prehistory. Iraq (London) 7: 7.

Grigson, C. 1984 Some Thoughts on Unicorns and Other Cattle Depicted at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. In South Asian Archaeology 1981, edited by B. Allchin, pp. 166-169. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Jansen, M. 1978 City Planning in the Harappa Culture. In Art and Archaeology Research Papers, edited by D. Jones and G. Michell, pp. 69-74. London, AARP.

Jansen, M. 1980 Public Spaces in the Urban Settlements of the Harappa Culture. In Art and Archaeology Research Papers, edited by D. Jones and G. Michell, pp. 11-19. London, AARP.

Jansen, M. 1984 Architectural Remains in Mohenjo-Daro. In Frontiers of the Indus Civilization, edited by B. B. Lal and S. P. Gupta, pp. 75-88. Delhi, Books and Books.

Jansen, M. 1987 Mohenjo-Daro – Stadt am Indus. In Vergessen Stadt am Indus, edited by M. Jansen and G. Urban, pp. 119-136. Mainz am Rhein, Phillip von Zabern.

Jansen, M. 1987 Preliminary results on the “forma urbis” research at Mohenjo-Daro. In Interim Reports Vol. 2: Reports on Field Work Carried out at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan 1983-84 by IsMEO-Aachen University Mission., edited by M. Jansen and G. Urban, pp. 9-21. Aachen, IsMEO/ RWTH.

Jansen, M. 1989 Water supply and sewage disposal at Mohenjo-Daro. World Archaeology 21(177-192): 5-14.

Jansen, M. 1991 The Concept of Space in Harappan City Planning – Mohenjo-Daro. In Concepts of Space: Ancient and Modern, edited by K. Vatsyayan, pp. 75-81. New Delhi, Abhinav Publications.

Jansen, M. 1991 Mohenjo-Daro – a City on the Indus. In Forgotten Cities on the Indus, edited by M. Jansen, M. Mulloy and G. Urban, pp. 145-165. Mainz am Rhein, Phillip von Zabern.

Jansen, M. 1993 City of Wells and Drains, Mohenjo-Daro: Water Splendor 4500 Years Ago. Bonn, Verlag und Vertieb.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1983 Shell Working Industries of the Indus Civilization: An Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspective, PhD, University of California-Berkeley.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1986 The Indus Bead Industry: Contributions to Bead Technology. Ornament 10(1): 18-23.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1988 Recent Developments in the Study of the Indus Civilization. Eastern Anthopologist 41(1): 65-76.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1991 The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan and Western India. Journal of World Prehistory 5(4): 331-385.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1992 Harappan Craft Specialization and the Question of Urban Segregation and Stratification. Eastern Anthropologist 45(1-2): 39-54.

Kenoyer, J. M., Ed. 1994 From Sumer to Meluhha: Contributions to the Archaeology of South and West Asia in Memory of George F. Dales, Jr. Wisconsin Archaeological Reports 3. Madison, Department of Anthropology.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1995 Ideology and Legitimation in the Indus State as revealed through Symbolic Objects. The Archaeological Review 4(1&2): 87-131.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1995 Interaction Systems, Specialized Crafts and Culture Change: The Indus Valley Tradition and the Indo-Gangetic Tradition in South Asia. In The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, edited by G. Erdosy, pp. 213-257. Berlin, W. DeGruyter.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1997 Early City-States in South Asia: Comparing the Harappan Phase and the Early Historic Period. In The Archaeology of City-States: Cross Cultural Approaches, edited by D. L. Nichols and T. H. Charlton, pp. 51-70. Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1998 Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Karachi, Oxford University Press.

Kenoyer, J. M. 1998 Seals and Sculpture of the Indus Cities. Minerva 9(2): 19-24.

Lambrick, H. T. 1979 Stratigraphy at Mohenjo daro. In Ancient Cities of the Indus, edited by G. L. Possehl, pp. 187-191. New Delhi, Vikas Publishing House PVT LTD.

Leonardi, G., Ed. 1988 Mohenjodaro: From Surface Evaluation to Ground Testing. Interim Reports Vol. 3: Reports on Field Work Carried out at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan 1983-86 by IsMEO-Aachen-University Mission. Aachen, IsMEO/RWTH.

Leonardi, G. 1988 New Problems of Surface Archaeology: Sampling in HR East Area of Moenjodaro (Pakistan). In Interim Reports Vol. 3: Reports on Field Work Carried out at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan 1983-86 by IsMEO-Aachen-University Mission., edited by G. Leonardi, pp. 7-70. Aachen, IsMEO/RWTH.

Lukacs, J. R. 1982 Dental Disease, Dietary Patterns and Subsistence at Harappa and Mohenjodaro. In Harappan Civilization, edited by G. L. Possehl, pp. 301-310. New Delhi, Oxford and IBH Publishing Co.

Mackay, E. J. H. 1928-29 Excavations at Mohenjodaro. Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India: 67-75.
Marshall, J. H. 1979 Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. In Ancient Cities of the Indus, edited by G. L. Possehl, pp. 181-186. New Delhi, Vikas Publishing House PVT LTD.

Meadow, R. H. 1993 the Past, Present, and Future of Bioarchaeological Studies in Pakistan with Specific Reference to Mohenjo-daro and the Indus Civilization. Pakistan Archaeology 28: 183-215.

Miller, H. M.-L. 1994 Metal Processing at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro: Information from non-metal remains. In South Asian Archaeology, 1993, edited by A. Parpola and P. Koskikallio, pp. 497-510. Helsinki, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.

Molony, N. 1995 Mohenjodaro: An Ancient City. In The Young Oxford Book of Archaeology, edited by, pp. 62-69. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Pande, B. M. 1991 Inscribed Copper Tablets from Mohenjo-daro: Some Observations. Puratattva (21): 25-28.

Parpola, A. 1992 Copper Tablets from Mohenjo-daro and the study of the Indus Script. In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Moenjodaro, edited by I. M. Nadiem, pp. Karachi, Department of Archaeology.

Possehl, G. L. 2002 the Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. Walnut Creek, AltaMira Press.

Pracchia, S., M. Tosi and M. Vidale 1985 on the Type, Distribution and Extent of Craft Industries at Mohenjo-daro. In South Asian Archaeology 1983, edited by J. Shotsmans and M. Taddei, pp. 207-247. Naples, Istituto Universitario Orientale.

Raikes, R. L. 1984 Mohenjo Daro Environment. In Frontiers of the Indus Civilization, edited by B. B. Lal and S. P. Gupta, pp. 455-460. New Delhi, Books and Books.

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Smith, H. C. 2002 Art of Jewelry: Ancient to Modern Period. Delhi, Bharatiya Kala Prakashan.

Thomas, F. W. 1932 Book Review of Mohenjo-Daro And The Indus Civilization: Being an official account of Archaeological Excavations at Mohenjo-daro carried out by the Government of India between the years 1922 and 1927. Edited by Sir John Marshall. London: Arthur Probsthain, 1931. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 453-466.

Ullah, K. B. M. S. 1931 Copper and bronze utensils and other objects. In Mohenjo-daro and the Indus Civilization, edited by S. J. Marshall, pp. 481-488. London, A. Probsthain.

Van Lohuizen De Leeuw, J. 1955 Chroniques: Note sur un groupe de constructions se trouvant dans la zone HR de Mohenjo-daro. Arts Asiatiques 2(2): 19-149.

Verardi, G. 1987 Preliminary Report on the Stupa and the Monastery of Mohenjo-Daro. In Interim Reports, Vol. 2., edited by M. Jansen and G. Urban, pp. 45-58. Aachen, IsMEO/RWTH.

Vidale, M. 1983 Outline Of A Strategy For The Archaeological Analysis And Interpretation Of A 3RD millennium BC Pottery Production Centre In The Indo-Iranian Region. In Forschungsprojekt DFG Mohenjo-Daro: Dokumentation In Der Archaologie Techniken Methoden Analysen, edited by G. Urban and M. Jansen, pp. 109-118. Aachen.

Wasson, R. J. 1984 the Sedimentological Basis of the Mohenjo-daro Flood Hypothesis. Man and Environment VIII: 88-90.