Archaeology at ras Muari: Sonari, a Bronze Age fisher-gatherers settlement at the Hab River mouth (Karachi, Pakistan).
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This paper describes the results of the surveys carried out along Ras Muari (Cape Monze, Karachi, Sindh) by the Italian Archaeological Mission in Lower Sindh and Las Bela in 2013 and 2014. The surveyed area coincides with part of the mythical land of the Ichthyophagoi, mentioned by the classical chroniclers. Many archaeological sites, mainly scatters and spots of fragmented marine and mangrove shells, were discovered and AMS dated along the northern part of the cape facing the Hab River mouth. The surveys have shown that fisher and shell gatherer communities temporarily settled in different parts of the headland. They began to exploit the sea resources during the Neolithic. However, the most important discovery consists of a unique fishers’ settlement with rectangular stone-walled structures located on a limestone terrace near Sonari (SNR-1), the first ever found along the northern coast of the Arabian Sea. The AMS dates show that it was settled mainly during the first half of the third millennium cal bc when the Indus Civilisation flourished in the area. Considering the importance of the discovery, all the material culture remains from the Sonari sites have been described and analysed in detail and, whenever possible, framed into the different phases of environmental changes and human adaptation to the coastal environment that have been interpreted thanks to a good series of AMS dates from marine and mangrove shells.