Copper Workers and Their Technology – A Survey of Chotanagpur Region

Abstract

This paper explores the ethnographic profile of copper workers and the technology they are using presently in the Chotanagpur Plateau which was rich in copper metal, specially the Singbhum belt where many ancient copper mines have been discovered. By studying the present communities involved in making copper artefacts, the paper tries to trace a connect with the past copper making communities and their technology. A vast number of chalcolithic artifacts of various shapes and sizes have been excavated from different sites which belong to the Chalcolithic Period, approximately c. 1500 BCE from this region which makes it an interesting study. In middle and lower Gangetic Valley which surrounds Chotanagpur Region also are some important excavated Chalcolithic sites. Old copper workings occur in Chotanagpur Plateau even outside the Singhbhum-Hazaribagh belt and some of them are found well outside the known copper-bearing area. The exclusive occurrence of bar-celts in the eastern region may indicate their use for crowbar-like operations in mining in the Jharkhand region that supplied the raw materials for copper. This paper also investigates the metallurgical processes involved in copper manufacturing along with the typology of copper artefacts found in the Region. There are large numbers of places in Jharkhand, Bengal and Orissa which are associated with the word tama (copper or bronze). Most of these sites are situated in the copper belt where ancient copper workings were located. The study also focuses on Jaria village which is still involved in making copper artefacts.



Author Information
Rimjhim Sharma, Delhi University, India

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2022
Stream: Indian and South Asian Studies

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