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Islamic-Era Ivory Workshops Found in Pakistan

Friday, March 6, 2020

Pakistan Ivory FragmentsKARACHI, PAKISTAN—According to a Haaretz report, archaeologists have discovered nearly 90 pounds of ivory fragments in dumps situated near the remains of 800-year-old workshops in the ancient port city of Bhanbhore, which is located in southeastern Pakistan. The elephant ivory scraps at the site are thought to have been discarded by Islamic-era carvers who produced valuable luxury goods for export. Simone Mantellini of the University of Bologna said the workshops may have produced rings and chess pieces made of ivory imported from India. In return, the residents of Bhanbhore imported glassware from the Near East; pottery from India, Iran, and Iraq; and porcelain from China. The Italian-Pakistani excavation, a joint project of the Sindh Government's Directorate General of Antiquities and Milan's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, supported by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has only uncovered a small part of the ancient city’s industrial area to date, he added. To read about a carved ivory plaque from the tenth century B.C. found at the site of Arslantepe in Turkey, go to "Artifact."

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