Situated fifteen miles south of the Town of Khairpur KotDiji is the earliest known ruin of the great Chaleolithic Civilization of the Indus Valley. Excavation at the prehistoric mound of Kot Diji has dismissed the long held view that” the Indus Valley Civilization was a static an uninspired monument of ultra-Conservation.
The picture of the Indus Valley Civilization as presented to us was that of a full nature and developed culture of which the beginning was obscure in 1946 Sir Mortimer wheeler discovered a distinct glass of ceramic below the defences at Harappa which he considered of and insignificant nature and belonging to some alien people. The excavations conducted by Dr. F.A. Khan at Kot Diji proved that the “alien pottery below the massive defences at Harappa in fact belonged to a distinct pre-Harappan Culture”.
The ancient Kot Diji comprised a citadel where the ruling class lived and an outer part of the city which was the dwelling of the common populace. Today the main axis of the 40 feet high mound runs from east to west and measures 600 feet in length and about 400 feet in breadth.
Excavations, both vertical and horizontal, on the top and the eastern slope of the mound have provided a complete cross section of the Kot Diji site, revealing valuable information about the cultural sequence, and the art and architectural details of the occupation phases. The excavations extend the prehistoric chronology by 300 years beyond the date of the beginning of Harappa.
The few upper layers of vertical digging represents typical mature phase of the Indus Valley Civilization contemporary to the Harappan Culture. The underlying 17 feet thick cultural accumulation is separated from the superimposed Harappan levels by a thick layer of Charred material suggesting a holocaust and a temporary discontinuity in the chronology of the settlement. The levels of occupation below this plane represent the older culture of Kot Diji, distinguished by a peculiar type of ceramic industry.
In the upper levels of Kot Doji excavation the general characteristics of the pottery and their designs are the same as observed in the Harappan pottery, possibly with a few minor differences, but the typical Harappan pottery, possibly with a few minor differences, but the typical Harappan steatite seals and terracotta human and animal figurines are very rare only one steatite seal depicting the “unicorn” was found and three terracotta female (mother goddess) and a dozen of bull figurines were recovered.
Below the layer of charred material the cultural finds represent the Kot Diji culture. The most distinctive feature of the pottery in these layers are the fine thin body, short beaded or slightly everted rim, fugitive, broad band round the neck in red, brown, sepia or warm black one to three inches wide, painted on a cream or dull red slip. It is wheel made and has no visible affinity with the normal harappan were eigher in texture, form or decoration.
Small finds from the Kot Dijian level are very rare. Still, they provde evidence of highly developed culture and compared with the Harappan specimens, they show a superiority in technical skill.
Excavation have clearly revealed the evidence of settled conditions when the Kot Dijians manufactured well-finished pottery and built their houses in mud-bricks. The people of Harappan borrowed some of the decorative designs and motifs on pottery from the Kot Dijians and above and they learnt they are of fortification from the Kot Dijians to which their fortified cities, Harappan and Mohenjodaro bear witness.