The Three Rivers Archaeological Society presents
Specialization as a Process:
Stone Bead Producers and Daily Life in South India (300 B.C.E. - 300 C.E.)
by Gwendolyn Kelly
Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Beloit College
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.