Bangladesh, April 10 : The discovery of a few semi-precious stone beads with motifs at the Wari-Bateshwar archaeological site in Bangladesh, has indicated that the spot was a rich trade centre, with its people having a history of craftsmanship as old as around 2,500 years.
According to a report in the Daily Star, some of the semi-precious stone beads found and unearthed from Wari-Bateshwar are even identical to the artifacts found in Southeast Asia and other parts in the Indian subcontinent.
This suggests that this area is one of the second earliest urbanisation sites in the subcontinent.
Archaeologists have observed that abundance of beads as found over the years, their varieties, uniqueness of designs, and technical excellence in producing those subsequently lead to assume that the beads were produced locally and there was a rich production centre or industry there.
"Production of beads of such qualities requires the finest technology, skill and excellence in aesthetic even today," according to Professor Sufi Mustafizur Rahman, who led the excavation team from the archaeology department at Jahangirnagar University (JU).
"The discovery of plenty more of beads during excavation ultimately substantiate craftsmanship of the people of this land 2,500 years ago," he said.
"The rate of the beads found in the area suggests that the place used to produce those and it was also a rich trade centre," added Professor Rahman.
The stone beads found in Wari-Bateshwar are of seven types - Agate, Amethyst, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Quartz, Jasper and Garnet.
The varieties of beads could not be numbered yet, but 20 varieties of etched beads bearing testimony of rich craftsmanship of the makers were found in Wari-Bateshwar.
Raw materials were not found in Bangladesh and must have been imported from abroad - a fact further indicates the place had trade relations with other nations.
The beads are varied in shapes, some containing 24 triangles in a single small piece, while some others are shaped as round, square, pentagon, rectangular, hexagonal, flat, egg, orange, ring, angular, cylinder, barrel and half-round.
Besides discovering beads as finished products, excavation also unearthed different types of stones that seem to be the raw materials of the beads.
These are chips and flakes, by-products from stone beads production, and imperforated stone beads, which seem to be unfinished products, indicating separate stages of production.
According to the archaeological team, the structure of the beads, their balanced cuts, highly polished finishing and delicate perforation bear the testimony to an excellent production technology and makers' excellence in geometry, mathematics and aesthetics.