A discussion of some of the approaches meta-issues that arise when investigating raw materials, their locations and histories of their exploitation and how these can be interpreted. Particular attention is paid to carnelian and the history of possible sources in Gujarat. The point of the article is to question some of the rapid assumptions we often make about the source of raw materials, very few of which have been subject to proper isotope analysis.
Originally published in Intercultural Relations between South and Southwest Asia Studies in commemoration of E.C.L. During-Caspers (1934-1996), Edited by Eric Olidjam and Richard H. Spoor, BAR International Series 1826, Archaeopress, Oxford, 2008.