Carnelian Beads of the Indus Tradition and West Asia circa 2600-1900 BC: A comparative study of technological stability and change
Author(s): Jonathan Kenoyer
The production of stone beads involves multiple stages of manufacture determined by the available raw materials as well as technological choices made by bead makers and their communities. This paper focuses on technologies associated with the production of carnelian beads during the Harappa Phase (2600-1900 BC) of the Indus Valley region of Pakistan and Western India, and parts of West Asia. Technological change in production and trade can be shown through materials analysis and provenance studies, analyses of manufacturing technologies and sequences of production, as well as more detailed systems of classification and stylistic analysis. Innovations in shaping and perforation made it possible to drill harder forms of rock and create longer and thinner forms. Unique patterns of bead production can be linked to the choices of specific artisans or more general workshop styles, and changing patterns of bead trade and consumption. The stimulus for these technological changes can be linked to increasing social hierarchy and the demand for unique ornaments linked to social, economic and ideological power. The trade of beads between regions also allows them to be used in comparing the patterns of use and discard in other contemporaneous cultures as well as in later time periods.
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Carnelian Beads of the Indus Tradition and West Asia circa 2600-1900 BC: A comparative study of technological stability and change. Jonathan Kenoyer. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396398)
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min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;