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Indian Glass Beads: Archaeology to Ethnography

Alok Kumar Kanungo (Author)

Indian Glass Beads: Archaeology to Ethnography lists all archaeological, historical and medieval findings of glass beads in India and map them to different cultural periods. It demonstrates how such a micro study can help in the better understanding of Indian history and logically places this study in the broader context of study of humanity’s past. The book details of the glass bead production technology, surviving traditional bead producing centers and the major users of the same. The field are taken was very broad with traditional producers studied in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh as well as traditional users studied living in Odisha and Nagaland (for details see the content and the book).

It concludes "Given that glass beads constitute and important antiquity, with a high survival rate, and a size and usage pattern that ensures wide dispersal, it is important to correlate archaeological evidence with current knowledge of production processes involved in bead production. In doing so we begin to understand how the whole lifecycle of bead, from the first stages of production to the various end-users, traverses a spatially wide area, with possibility of ‘debitage-like’ deposits accumulating at various stages. However, while the beads, once produced, tend to ‘travel’ to distant places, their production requires a complex web of processes, techniques and skills which are likely to be available at only limited number of locations. Thus the dispersal is of the artifact, not of the whole web of production processes, implying that care has to be exercised before any site with bead debitage can be considered a bead production centre."

Contents: I. A Study of Glass and Beads: 1.Introduction. 2. Glass. 3. History of glass. 4. Composition of glass. 5. Development of glass in India. 6. Karakambadi. 7. Present day production of glass. 8. Shaping and finishing of glass. 9. Firozabad: the glass capital of India. 10. Beads. II. Glass and glass beads in India: 11. Ancient glass and glass beads in India. 12. Glass beads and glass findings from Indian Archaeology. 13. Discussion. III. Glass beads production: 14. Introduction. 15. Winding technique. 16. Purdalpur: the centre of furnace wound beads. 17. Varanasi: the lamp winding bead complex. 18. Drawing method. 19. Papanaidupet: the Indo-Pacific bead production centre. 20. First firing. 21. Second firing. 22. Stringing the beads. 23. Other beads. IV. Users of glass beads: 24. Introduction. 25. Beads among the Bondo. 26. Beads among the Juang. 27. Glass beads among the Nagas. V. Conclusion: 28. Discussion. 29. Ethnoarchaeology. References. Colour Plates. Index.

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About the author

Alok Kumar Kanungo

Alok Kumar Kanungo, faculty at IIT Gandhinagar and adjunct faculty at Flinders University, specializes in archaeological and ethnographic studies of indigenous and ancient technology. Since the 2000s, Dr Kanungo has travelled and documented the rich heritage of the Nagas of north-east India, and the Bondos and Juangs of Odisha, both in the field and in museums across Europe and the United Kingdom. He has studied and published extensively on the subject of glass- making and working, and written or edited fifteen books and seventy research articles. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards including Humboldt, Fulbright, British Academy, Homi Bhabha, SPARC, ICG and ICHR Fellowships. He has lectured in many universities and research institutes in the US, New Zealand, Europe, South-East Asia, besides India.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Glass Beads: Archaeology to Ethnography
Format Hardcover
Date published: 22.05.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788189131999
length 208p., Illustrations; Some Colour; 12 Maps; 29cm.