Dr. Aurore Didier is permanent researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, in charge of the ‘Indus-Balochistanprogramme’, and director of the French Archaeological Mission in the Indus Basin. She specializes on the societies, material cultures and interactions in southern Pakistan and adjoining areas during the protohistoric period with a focus on the Bronze Age and the Indus civilization (2500-1900 BCE). She has conducted excavations and explorations in Kech-Makran (Balochistan, Pakistan) in 2001-2006 under the leadership of Roland Besenval and collaborated with noted archaeologist Jean-François Jarrige who excavated the sites of Mehrgarh, Nausharo and Pirak in Balochistan. She has also participated to various excavations in Turkmenistan, Sultanate of Oman and India.
Dr. Didier recently published a monograph on the 3rd millennium pottery from Kech-Makran and is currently writing a book on the Kech-Makran region during the Indus Civilization period. Since 2015, Aurore Didier and her team conducts field-work in Southern Sindh in collaboration with in collaboration with Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department, Government of Sindh and Department of Archaeology and Museums of Pakistan, focused on the question of the emergence and development of the Indus Civilization (Excavations at Chanhu-daro and Archaeological surveys in Sindh-Kohistan).
The site of Chanhu-daro (Shaheed Benazirabad District, Sindh)previously excavated by N.C. Majumdar in 1931 and E.J.H. Mackay in 1935-1936 was described in archaeological literature as one of the most important craft production centres of the Indus Civilization. Since 2015, the French Archaeological Mission in the Indus Basin (‘MAFBI Mission’) in cooperation with Exploration and Excavation Branch, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department, Government of Sindh, resumed a new excavation programme on this site aiming at better characterizing in developments in architecture and material culture during the beginning or first period of the Indus Civilization (2500-2300 BCE). Indeed, excavated sites in Sindh and in the Greater Indus Valley that provided a thorough documentation on this very important phase of the Indus Civilization are very few in number mainly due to stratigraphical or environmental constraints. With its chronological frame recently updated from comparative studies with the stratigraphy, pottery and artefacts discovered, for instance, at Kot-Diji, Amri, Harappa, Miri Qalat or Nausharo, the site of Chanhu-daro showed the existence of remains dated to the first period of the Indus Civilization, and it is also so far one of the only major site of south Pakistan where levels belonging to the first Indus period can be directly accessible to excavations.In 2015-2016, the Pakistani-French team excavated several levels of residential units with architectures mostly built in mud-brick. They were associated with ceramics dated to the first Indus period and many evidences of specialized craft activities – mainly lapidary working. A portion of a ‘monumental’ building which displayed original construction methods was also excavated. These excavations will be continued in January-February 2017. In parallel, the MAFBI mission has developed a training programme in techniques of Archaeology carried out on the field for students in Archaeology from local Universities and young professionals in cultural heritage.