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To Specialize or Not to Specialize: Stone Bead and Ornament Production at Kodumanal, Tamil Nadu, India (300 B.C.E. - 300 C.E.) by Gwen Kelly, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday, February 2, 2012
12:00 AM
Ruthven Museums Building Room 2009

Specialization as both a state and a process is understood in archaeology to relate to the development of increasing complexity in society and economy. Many scholars have dealt with specialization in evolutionary and typological/classificatory terms. Using data from the Early Historic site of Kodumanal in Tamil Nadu, India, I examine evidence for specialized and non-specialized production of stone beads and other ornaments. I argue that specialization should be viewed as a process and a continuum rather than in stages, and demonstrate that while it appears that specialized production was taking place, others in the community were participating in production as non-specialists.