"Ancient Saharan stone beads."
Re: Thanks, Jamey -- nishedha Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/08/2020, 05:35:55

The dark discoidal stone beads are apparently quite old and rare. Some think they are "Neolithic." Of course, "Neolithic" is essentially a technological consideration more than a time period. But it is routinely used to express "great age." (Neolithic beads were made in Africa as recently as 100 years ago—and perhaps recently.)

I don't know of any scientific work that elucidates these beads. But they seem to be very uncommon.

I recognize the central bead in your handsome necklace as an African-made carnelian cylinder bead. These are found in Mali (and the surrounding W. African region), and typically have large biconical perforations—this being typical of primitive manufacture, but not necessarily great age. At the Ethnographic Show, Tasart and David Ebbinghouse are both showing long necklaces composed from them. They are very appealing (to my eyes).

The disk beads in your necklace remind me of those that come out of Nepal. But this could be nothing more than a similarity—since plain rolled discoidal beads (from anywhere, of similar materials) will be rather all-alike. I have been perplexed by the Nepalese beads for about three decades....

These are nearly always presented as "old" or "ancient Nepalese beads." However, I have not seen these beads in any authentic traditional necklaces from the region. They have always appeared as strands of beads, or as designer necklaces. So I have been inclined to think of them as "latecomers" in the bead marketplace. But I could be mistaken.

Are you confident that your jasper disk beads are from an African context?

Cheers, Jamey

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