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Western Indian (Mewar) Chalcolithic Beads with Special Reference to Balathal

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During the last few years, Indian archaeologists have concentrated their efforts on the investigation of sites of the 3rd to 2nd millennia B.C. in the Mewar region of western India. Unfortunately, most of the excavations have been focused on understanding the cultural sequence, settlement patterns, architecture, and pottery at the sites and have neglected the study of such important artifact categories as beads. As no final reports have been published and the excavations have been carried out by different agencies, reconstructing the bead culture of this area is very difficult. We know quite a bit about the beads of the urban Harappans but know practically nothing about those used by the contemporary rural Chalcolithic people. This paper discusses the beads recovered from a number of Chalcolithic sites, with emphasis on the oldest village in India—Balathal.

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