Re. Beautiful! How old? How would it have been used?
Re: Beautiful! How old? How would it have been used? -- jrj Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
12/21/2017, 15:02:06

Hi JRJ,

Thanks. I agree!

A Pakistani friend who's an archaeologist says he would date this bead to the late third millennium BCE. He refers to the deep colour of the carnelian; the carefulness with which the lines have been "etched" onto the surface; the depth of the whlte lines; and the patterns of trees and of dot & circle motifs which are common on the pottery and carved bone artefacts of the time. He may be correct, but these elements survived into later times, too, so I'll be cautious and say it's at least 2,000 years old.

I'll attach a couple of photos - one of a lovely Indus Valley bead, from a site in the United Arab Emirates that is dated to 2,400-2,300 BCE; the other of an Indus Valley jar or vase in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, dated to the third millennium BCE.

It's difficult to know how these etched beads were worn. Other gold and semi-precious beads are excavated on quite elaborate necklaces and bracelets, but etched carnelians almost always seem to be found individually or in very small groups. They were among the most valued items of adornment in the Indus Valley culture, along with the large jasper beads with their elaborate patterns of eyes that the etched lines on the carnelians were intended to imitate.

Best,

Will

36.IV_bead-excavated_Hili_UAE-2400-2100BCE-McSweeney08.jpg (173.0 KB)  22.lacma:M3BCE:49.5cm.jpg (78.9 KB)  


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