Re: "..., similar to Mopti...." ?
Re: Re: Some of these beads appear to be from earlier than the Islamic Period. -- kika Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
09/25/2018, 21:13:34

I am not certain I follow your comment—if you would be so kind as to rephrase or clarify it for me.

Let us remember that, from West Africa, south of the Sahara, it has not been demonstrated that any Roman Period beads have been recovered. These beads are post-Roman Period, and into the Islamic Period. However, as early as 1983 they have been routinely misidentified as "Roman beads" on many many occasions. A circumstance I have countered ever since that time. And, in point of fact, I began identifying "Roman" beads as deriving from the Islamic Period as early as 1980.

However, as I have remarked many times, post-Roman beads can be from just prior to the founding of Islam—and this event, in itself, has nothing to do with the manufacture of beads. Sometimes these earlier beads are characterized as being "Byzantine," to separate them from either Roman Period or Islamic Period beads.

For me, there are a number of issues at play: 1) The Romans get too much credit for the manufacture of glass beads over the time of their Empire; 2) These beads would have been made regardless of Roman invasions and control—because Western Asia was the seat of glassmaking and beadmaking; 3) ancient glass beads from West Africa are there because of Islamic scholars and tradesmen, who set up enclaves in and around Niger River sites in Mali (such as Jenne)—and these beads would, then, clearly be post-Roman beads.

Be well. Jamey

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