More than 500 beads and pendants were excavated by a Czechoslovakian team in the early 1960s at two sites in Lower Nubia. The beads were associated with 40 tumuli in the Wadi Qitna cemetery and two tumuli in the Kalabsha-South cemetery. These 4th-century cemeteries are related to the Blemmyes, the Eastern Desert dwellers whose pottery has been commonly recognized in the region between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea coast at a time of intensive overseas trade contacts. The bead assemblage, stored at the Naprstek Museum in Prague, was recently restudied and its materials and parallels could be more specifically identified. In addition to ostrich eggshell of Nubian Desert origin, Red Sea shells and glass beads of Eastern Mediterranean and South Asian origin are present. Some beads are modern European intrusions.
The Society of Bead Researchers is a non-profit scientific-educational corporation founded in 1981 to foster historical, archaeological, and material cultural research on beads and beadwork of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research.
"Beads and Pendants from the Tumuli Cemeteries at Wadi Qitna and Kalabsha-South, Nubia."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
28: 38-49. Available at: