Posted by: judy Mail author
James Lankton shows beads that date to 5,000 BC that have been drilled in his book 'A Bead Timeline'. It is very difficult to determine the age of beads that have been excavated. Understandably the people who find them keep the location secret. Even beads that have been found in legal digs cannot be tested because they would explode. The age is determined by the strata in which they were found and by the age of artifacts that could be tested that were found in the same strata. Prehistoric remains have been found in the Mali and Niger deserts that date back millions of years ie. dinosaur remains. National Geographic published an article about a discovery of two ancient civilizations. A person looking for dinosaur skeletons found a human skeleton that had been exposed by the winds and alerted authorities. One civilization was found to date to 4,000 BC and I believe the other to 2,000 BC. I believe that this was posted on the forum at that time. Shell beads have been found in North Africa, Morocco, by archeologists that were dated to more than 80,000 years BC and in South Africa that dated to 60,000 BC. The perforations on those beads were picked. My Malian mentor told me that there is an area in the desert where hundreds of beads are exposed each year during the rainy season. A report was published by archeologist Alok Kulongo regarding a dig that he conducted in India. He found clay beads, agate/carnelian beads and amazonite beads that are identical to the beads found in Mali. They date to 4,000 BC. His opinion was that trade between India and North and North West Africa was going on at this time. I have a copy of the report and will be very happy to email it to anyone who is interested. It has pictures. Why all the beads found in Mali are typically dated to the Islamic era is a mystery to me. It is more than likely that stone beads were made in Africa and in ancient times. Stone artifacts were made there and there is no doubt in my mind that those are ancient. In answer to Beadiste's question about new ancient beads. Yes, the Tuareg have a production facility in Niger (probably more than one) and are turning out new ancient beads. I have also seen reworked ancient stone beads. When I buy ancient stone beads from Mali and Niger I remove about 1/3 of the beads from the strand because they are newly made. The current political situation is making it impossible for anyone to venture into Mali for beads and artifacts. The business has come to a stand still. The prices are going to rise dramatically in fact they already have. My weakness is stone beads and artifacts I love them. Unfortunately I only have a very small collection because I am a seller. To indulge my passion would be self negating. I could ramble on but I need to get back to work..........
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