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Publication Nr ICG032
Author Kanungo, Alok Kumar
Mapping the Indo-Pacific Beads vis-a-vis Papanaidupet
Publication Year 2016
ISS ISBN 978-81-7305-547-8
Page 92
In the field of bead studies, Indo-Pacific (IP) glass beads have become synonymaus to the village of Papanaidupel The production technology of this tiny bead was ahead of its time. First invented in South India araund the 5th century BCB and then spread to the rest of the Pacific, the IP beads have a dominant presence in the bead world for the last two thousand and .five hundred years. From having multiple production centres and a wide geographic and temporal spread, the IP beads came to be a one centre at one place phenomenon. The only IP bead industry which continued to produce beads in the traditional way till 2012 was at Papanaidupet, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India. This cottage industry retain.ed th.e answers to many archaeological puzzles relating to glass in general and glass beads in particular. It is unfortunate that since 2014 there has been no production of glass beads at Papanaidupet. The evidences from there are on the verge of disappearance, bringing an end to a golden era. in glass and glass bead history. During 2007-2012 only two furnaces were functional and during 2013-2014 workers lighted the fumace not regularly but only when they got the bulk orders. On the other hand only 20 years before, there used to be about 20 fumaces working day and night. The present work discusses the origin and dispersal of IP beads, their technological innovations, the reasons for the continuation of this 2500 years old bead making tradition, the history of Papanaidupet and a detailed and exhaustive recording of the IP bead production cycle. It traces the People involved in this cycle, maps the entire village vis-a-vis the bead industry, and examines what signatures it leave behind once abandoned for the archaeologists.
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