Neolithic Mehrgarh is a 9,000 years old site of the settlement of Katchi district at the foot of Bolan Pass near Sibi. Supported by Pakistan’s Department of Archaeology, French archaeologists are carrying out extensive excavations here for some years. The excavations, studies, and research have led to pushing back these settlements to some 9,000 years. Thus the chronology of civilization in Pakistan established through the study of Meonjodaro and Harappa has been pushed back by over 4,000 years.
Research shows that the people here had lived in houses and were involved in hunting, domestication of animals, and farming cereals like barley and wheat and later cotton too. This hunting-farming society developed gradually and their pursuits were creative. During the early period, these people used stone and bone tools i.e. polished stone axes, flint blades, and bone pointers. By 6,000 BC, hand-made pottery appeared, and in the 5th millennium BC, metallurgy and potter-wheel were introduced and they produced some fine terra-cotta figurine and pottery with geometric designs.
Subsequently, they produced and wore ornaments of beads, seashells, and semi-precious stones like Lapis Lazuli. A museum has been set up at Sibi where a wide range of rare finds from the site of Mehrgarh is on display.