Trans-Himalayan Material Culture of India: Special Reference to Steatite Bead

Author(s): Amita Gupta; Vinod Nautiyal

Year: 2018


Trans-Himalayan archaeology was always neglected by the historians and Archaeologist. But some recent excavations and my Ph.D field work presented an interesting view of Trans-Himalayan culture. The burial culture of this region dated back to 600-200BCE. I found here the remains of Pyro-technological activities. Steatite bead was first time found in Trans-Himalaya. They are in size from 2 to 4 mm in diameter, 1to3 mm in height, and hole width is about 1 mm. The beads were examined by using SEM and XRD. XRD examines shown that the beads are prepared of enstatite, a Mg-bearing pyroxene, and cristobalite, a high-temperature polymorph of quartz, formed when quartz is heated at 900–1470 °C. Our primary results suggest that the beads were prepared by heating talc to a high heat. First a paste was made from milled talc, water and a binding material. The paste was then molded into elongated shape and heated at a high temperature. This firing process made the paste hardened and transformed the talc into enstatite and cristobalite. Lastly the shape was cut into the form of beads. I would like to present this work and also few other metallurgical activities which were also take place here.

Cite this Record

Trans-Himalayan Material Culture of India: Special Reference to Steatite Bead. Amita Gupta, Vinod Nautiyal. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442514)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: 46.143; min lat: 33.724 ; max long: 87.715; max lat: 54.877 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 19883