And what exactly is steatite?
This denomination is not due only to the widespread use of this material in the greater Indus Valley during the Early Bronze Age, but also to the level of technical sophistication that its manufacturing reached in the region starting from the Neolithic period. The use of pyrotechnology – the intentional and controlled use of fire in a manufacturing process – for whitening and hardening the steatite, which is also at the base of the production of the famous Indus seals, and the creation of faience an early prototype of glass, from steatite powder are both very important accomplishments of the Harappan craftsmen.
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
They used steatite for beads, seals and other ornaments and it was an important raw material for many types of crafts.
The Harappan people used steatite extensively for making beads, seals and several other artifacts. It may therefore be referred to as “steatite civilization”.
Massimo Vidale Because of the universal use of talc and steatite in the Indus tradition since the neolithic. Indus craftsmen were deeply intrigued by artificial materials, and steatite and talc can be deeply transformed by fire treatments.
Above: Natural Soapstone Powder, Image Courtesy Goyal Group