Garnets from Telangana adorned Roman jewellery, says study

By: V. Nilesh

Beads made of garnet mined from Kothagudem in Telangana adorned jewellery worn by citizens of the Roman empire, says a new study. Garnet mined from Garibpet also known as Gareeb Peta a tribal village in Kothagudem district was used to make beads in an ancient bead-production centre of India Arikamedu in Puducherry.

Garnet is a kind of mineral that comes in different colours. It has been used since Bronze Age for its ornamental value. According to the study, ancient Greece and Rome started using garnets around 300 BC and continued to do so till 5th century AD.

According to the study titled ‘The linkage between garnets found in India at the Arikamedu archaeological site and their source at the Garibpet deposit’ – usage of garnet almost ended in Rome by 7th century AD. One of the reasons, it notes, could be the closure of sea route to India around the same period.

The researchers analysed various physical and chemical properties of garnet beads excavated at Arikamedu and compared it with rough material from Garibpet. “Samples from the two localities exhibited substantial correlation with respect to average composition, trace-element contents, chemical zoning of major and minor elements, inclusion assemblages and zoning of inclusions between the rims and cores of the crystals,” the study noted.

“The microscopic observations, identification of the inclusion assemblage, and chemical analyses established that the rough material used historically in the Arikamedu area to produce garnet beads originated from the Garibpet deposit.”

Source: New Indian Express

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