About the Book :
The present study highlights the contributions of India in the bead manufacturing and trading since the upper Palaeolithic period. Effort has been made to present interesting information on various aspects of bead-manufacturing in ancient India that may be of interest for the common readers and expert alike. The traditional bead manufacturing, still an active craft at the present-day Khambhat, has also been discussed in detail.
The Indian bead-makers achieved remarkable expertise in this technology over the years since its beginning. The industry initially developed on the soft organic materials, like ostrich eggshell, bone and shell, but it developed as a specialised industry, using different raw materials, responding to the new and varied local and foreign demands. Innovation and improvement in bead technology had been a continual process. By the time of Indus civilisation, the bead-makers had achieved mastery in this craft, and the bead-manufacturing industry had gained international repute. However, that coveted status suffered a setback with the decline of Indus civilisation, though it regained its glory with the rise of second urbanisation during the early historic period.
Several archaeological sites of different cultural periods have revealed evidences of bead manufacturing. Those discoveries not only reveal the verities and volumes of beads that the Indian artisans manufactured in ancient times, but also establish their talent and experimental skill. An extensive inter-regional and intra-regional network for the procurement of raw materials and the distribution of finished products existed in the country to meet the demand and supply requirement. Thus, India has been one of the largest providers of beads in the world, exporting these to the marts of Mediterranean civilisations. These had been in great demand in the Persian Gulf and African countries.
The present study provides a detailed account of bead manufacturing and trade in India. This work is significant HIST contribution to all interested to learn about India's achievement in the bead-making technology, one of the little-known areas of history of Indian science and technology.
About the Authors :
Prof. Rabindra Kumar Mohanty has been the Head of Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Deccan College, Pune. Born at Bhadrak in Odisha in 1952, he completed his post-graduation in Archaeology and obtained doctorate from Poona University in 1985. Professor Mohanty has vast experience on the Iron Age archaeology, Indian art and architecture and the ancient bead manufacturing technology. He specialises in the Iron Age archaeology, on which he has published many articles. He directed many archaeological excavations at various places in India, and his significant contribution is the discovery of stone bead manufacturing evidences at Mahurjhari, which established it as one of the largest stone bead manufacturing centers in ancient India. Besides, he has been exploring and excavating many Chalcolithic and early historic sites in Odisha since 2005.
He is the author of as many as 60 research papers, published in national and international journals. He has been presenting papers in national and international seminars and delivering lectures in various Indian and foreign universities, like University of Calgary (Canada), Institute of Archaeology (London) and Chosen Institute of Archaeology (California). He is an archaeologist of international fame.
Dr. Tilok Thakuria, born in 1979 at Sivasagor in Assam, is currently Assistant professor in the Department of History and Archaeology, North Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus. He obtained M. A. Degree in Archaeology from the Deccan College in 2004. He obtained Ph.D. degree on Society and Economy during Early Iron Age and Early Historical Period in Deccan with special reference to Beads (1000 B. C. to 500 A. D.) in 2010. His areas of interest are the stone bead-making technology, protohistoric archaeology and cultural studies of the northeast India. He has presented several research papers in national and international conferences; authored and co-authored several research papers, and edited books. He is the recipient of Dr. Malti Nagar Ethnoarchaeology award for his ethnoarchaeological work on the shell fishing and lime production in coastal Odisha. He is presently working on the stone jars and the lost tribe of North Cachar in Assam. He participated in the archaeological excavations in Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Assam and Rajasthan. He has wide experience of the archaeological exploration and excavation.