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Continuity of shell culture in Bharatam (for S. Kalyanaraman)

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  • Marc Cooper
    Mirrored at http://kalyan96.googlepages.com/sankha Abstract While the finds of perforated shell beads in Skhul rock shelter in Israel point to the possible use
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2006
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      Mirrored at http://kalyan96.googlepages.com/sankha

      Abstract

      While the finds of perforated shell beads in Skhul rock shelter in
      Israel point to the possible use of shell artifacts as jewellery,
      there is a remarkable continuity of shell industry of the Sarasvati
      riverine, maritime civilization. The evidence is presented based on
      archaeological reports and in particular reference to the following
      monographs: 1. evidence of advanced fishing technology in ancient
      India; 2. identification of ancient shorelines of Gujarat (of
      periods earlier than 3rd millennium BCE); 3. ancient shell industry
      at Bet Dwarka island; 4. use of shell artifacts as inlays in
      Mesopotamian civilization area; 5. Gola Dhoro in Gujarat as an
      ancient shell workshop; and 5. evidence of perforated marine
      gastropod shells at the western Asian site of Skhul and the North
      African site of Oued Djebbana. The use of turbinella pyrum (s'ankha)
      as libation vessels, as conch-trumpets and source material for
      making wide bangles point to an astonishingly continuous tradition,
      from 7th millennium BCE into the historical periods. Hindu
      civilization presents a cultural area where s'ankha is considered
      sacred and adorns the murti of Bhairava and Vishnu. S'ankha
      kr.s'a_nah (s'ankha bowman or cutter) is a skill attested in the
      Rigveda. The cumulative evidence points to Meluhha, mleccha as
      maritime, riverine people. The term used for a people in Rigveda is
      Bharatam Janam which explains the use of the name Bharatam for India
      in ancient texts and in the current Constitution of the nation.

      S. Kalyanaraman, Ph.D.,
      Sarasvati Research Centre,
      Chennai
      kalyan97@...
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