Business acumen in Gujaratis is well known and vouched for. The dhandho streak seems encoded in the gene pool as is now verified and established by recent archaeological finds. Latest unearthings have stumbled on a series of shell and semi-precious stone goods, some evidently used as jewellery while some a decoratives. The discoveries corroborate with earlier findings across major Harappan sites, including those in Rajasthan and Haryana.
According to P. Ajithprasad, former professor of Archaeology at the MS University , Baroda and currently a visiting faculty at IIT Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn): “Present-day Gujarat has significant sites such as Dholavira and Lothal. There were important hubs for Harappan trade and known for shell and semi-precious stone goods.” He was speaking at the three-day meet of an international colloquium, which began Friday. Titled “Emerging Perspectives of the Harappan Civilization,” it has been convened at IIT-Gn
Elaborating on the findings, he listed three factors worked in favour of the region. “The region in rich in semi-precious stones. Earlier, it was found in the Kutch region only and later, discovered also in parts of the Gulf of Khambhat. This contributed to a flourishing beads industry. We found several sites where beads of different shapes and sizes were made. Likewise, the long coastline resulted in abundant shells used to make products such as bangles. The second factor is Kutch region had Ernestite stones, which were used to make drills. These drills, found at various sites, were used to make the beads,” he said.
The third factor, he said, was the coastline that helped move the goods. “Thus, experts such as Randal Law indicated these goods travelled wide and could be found in several other prominent Harappan-era sites. It has also been found in Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia,” he said.
Dr Y.S. Rawat, former director, State Archaeology Department, added that being a close-knit network of smaller villages helped in boosting small scale artisanship. The bigger consignments were thus collective offing, which could be taken to major cities such as Dholavira.
Also Read: Guj Superintendent Conducts Surprise Checks