The event, titled ‘Balochistan Evening’ and showcasing Balochi culture and cuisine, featured the erudite lecture by Dr Franke, followed by a performance of Balochi folk music featuring noted Baloch instrumentalist Sachu Khan, who captivated the audience with his mastery over
the suroz, a bowed string instrument similar to a sarangi . The lecture was accompanied by slide presentation featuring artefacts from the millennia gone by discovered in Balochistan from tombs and digging at other points. These included items of jewellery and pottery. Dr Franke said interest of archaeologists in Balochistan began to be aroused in the 1920s after the discovery of the Indus civilisation.She said the first discovery was the Mehrgarh civilisation, dating back around 7,500 BC, and later Khuzdar. She termed Balochistan the cradle of civilisation. She said many of the artefacts found were traced to have been brought in from Afghanistan, which was indicative of the large trade network that existed in the region even in that “primitive” era. Dr Franke said that it was in the third millennium that pottery and jewellery with geometric and figurative art flourished in Balochistan.She said that it was a mystery as to how such sites, connotative of an advanced civilisation, flourished in a province like Balochistan, arid as it is, with hardly any river worth its name.