Zahida Quadri Editor

The present number of Sindh Antiquities is the Special issue on Banbhore Excavations. The number of pages has therefore been increased as compared to the previous/regular issues. This edition has discussed Banbhore in a quite broader perspective by using the most recent data and contextual archaeological analysis of the archaeological material.

Some of the articles in this issue presented a viewpoint that answered a few very important questions regarding the decay and fall of the site along with its status as “712 CE harbor-town of Debal”. The discussion on a much-debated issue amongst scholars and still is a contested  issue; the identification of Daybul with the site of Banbhore has been examined critically in the light of ancient literary sources and the present archaeological discoveries. Furthermore, the historical notes by Dr. Valeria Fiorani Piacentin provide an interesting glimpse into the prosecution of the traditional political, institutional and the social life of Banbhore. The discussion later followed by Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari (SI) with strong arguments. Another thought-provoking discussion included in this issue is about Alexander’s Campaigns in Sindh especially the identification of Alexander’s harbor with Banbhore. Dr. Cinzia Bearzot, trying to address the confusion on the status of Banbhore as “Alexander’s harbor” which arises due to its ancient names (Barbarikon, Barce, Daybul), however, this complex question still remains open.

This is the first time we are presenting Archaeometry studies in a separate section. It is essential to mention that the reports included in this section about ivory and glass objects are preliminary, however, further studies are currently underway with a multi-methodological research approach. The preliminary report on ivory object by Dr. Affanni is of great importance in the present scenario when specialized workshop has been unearthed in 2020 Excavation season, at the central area of the citadel which is considered a unique and exceptional archaeological discovery, to be further investigated. The excavation detail of the Pak-Italian joint field season 2017-2019 combined with the results of the 2015 excavation, is also the part of this number. The detailed Survey & Excavation report by Dr. Simone Mantellini provided new and important insights on the final stage of occupation of Banbhore. His excavation study has further supported by Dr. Agnese Fusaro, Ceramics Specialist who has investigated the pottery collected during the season of 2017-2019. She discussed the changes in technology and fashion of the local ceramic manufacture throughout the centuries and explored the intra-regional and international trading networks in which Banbhore was involved during the Islamic period. Additional detail of Literary Sources and a short Bibliography related to the study of Banbhore is given at the end of this volume. Our sincere thanks to Pro. Dr. Valeria Piacentini for sharing this additional major information with our readers.

The purpose of this special edition is to present a balanced study on Banbhore transitional phase from the pre-Islamic to the Islamic period. This number comprises a unique perspective of each scholar’s field research and experience. In short, this volume has briefly set some key debates and highlighted some deeper aspects of archaeological studies on Banbhore, however, there are still numerous areas remain to be unexplored.