The Harappan civilisation was one of the earliest and the most advanced civilisation in the world. The civilisation was spread in the cities of the Sind in Pakistan and Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab in India. The civilisation flourished in the area with the development of many cites like the Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Lothal, Cholistan and many others. Many important artefacts like pottery, seals and beads were excavated from different sites.
The settlements of Lothal and Chanhudaro were practically absolutely dedicated to craft production. It included bead-making, shell-cutting, metal-working, seal-making and weight-making. Many kinds of materials were used for making beads. It included stones like carnelian, jasper, crystal, quartz and steatite, metals like copper, bronze and gold and other materials like shell, faience, terracotta and burnt clay. The beads were moulded in various shapes – disc-shaped, cylindrical, spherical or barrel-shaped.
The techniques used for bead making differed according to the difference in material used. Some beads were shaped out of a paste made with steatite powder obtained from a very soft stone. This allowed making a variety of shapes. While using harder stones, mostly geometric shapes could be made. Initially, the nodules and knots were chiselled into rough shapes. They were flaked and chipped into the final form at the finishing stages. Further grinding, polishing and drilling completed the process. Specialised drills for this have been found at Chanhudaro, Lothal and Dholavira.
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