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Bead Technology of IVC --By-Jonathan Mark Kenoyer

Recent article of Mark Kenoyer on the issue "Bead Making Technology of IVC" can be seen by following the below given link ----


Ref--University of Wisconsin
                       This study of bead making by Jonathan Mark kenoyer brings to my mind the beads trade still in existence in  temple shops. All the Hindu temples in South India will invariably have series of small shops selling gift items, pooja items, pictures and statues of Gods and invariably "Bead Shops". These "Bead Shops" usually sell "make up items" for women like eye brow pencil, face powder, Kajal, Bindi and inevitably Beads necklaces, gold covering items and glass bangles. This evidence of bead shops must be considered as another evidence of continuation of "Indus Culture " in present day Indian tradition and customs. 

                     This explains the presence of large number bead shops in and around the excavated sites of Mohenjo daro and Harappa. We should visualize , "How the Mohenjo Daro complex would have functioned at the time of it's existence". All the historians are of the opinion that it was city, but my opinion is different, it was a kind of Funeral complex, consisting of a temple and facility for dead body mummification and accompanying ritual places for dead people. There would have been temple shops selling all the above mentioned items. These "Bead shops" fits effortlessly in such a scenario.

Beads manufacture in IVC –Jonathan Kenoyer

              The study of bead manufacture and changing styles of beaded ornaments is an important method for investigating the social and economic development of a society. Numerous studies, including ongoing work at Harappa (Meadow & Kenoyer 2001) have demonstrated that the careful documentation of bead manufacturing techniques, raw material sourcing and stylistic analysis can reveal valuable information about prehistoric cultures. The analysis of beads from different periods and areas of Harappa have made it possible to define specific trade networks and the organization of production as well as changing patterns of interaction over the history of the site (Kenoyer 2000, 2001).

               During the course of these excavations, large numbers of beads, drills and bead making debris have been recovered from different parts of the city and from all of the major chronological periods. The vast majority of the beads are made of fired steatite, which was a widely used raw material, beginning with the Ravi Period and continuing through the Late Harappan Period. The long use of a raw material combined with changing techniques of production and bead morphology provide a unique perspective on the technological tradition and the people who used it. Terracotta is a locally available material that was also used to make beads throughout the history of Harappa. 

              The use of faience for making beads starts in the Kot Diji phase and continues on through the Late Harappan phase. Beads that are made of hard stone such as agate, carnelian are relatively less common, with a significant drop in numbers for stones such as lapis lazuli, garnet, serpentine and amazonite. Marine shell, which is relatively abundant at the site in the form of shell bangles and inlay, was not a common bead material, possibly because of the common use of white-fired steatite.

                Precious metals such as copper alloys and gold were probably quite intensively recycled, so it is not surprising that these materials are not often recovered in the course of excavation. These various materials, regardless of their abundance or scarcity reveal the importance of beads to Harappan culture and the dynamic nature of the bead industry over time.