Article Title

Barikot Beads and Gandharan Art Ornaments: A Critical Study of Adornment Practices during the Kushana Period of Pakistan




To reconstruct and understand adornment practices during the Kushana period of Gandhara (1st-3rd centuries CE), this article compares selected examples of beads recovered from the stratigraphically excavated site of Barikot (Swat Valley, Pakistan) with the forms of beads carved into regional iconography, i.e., sculptures of Bodhisattva (Buddhist divine beings) deriving from the Gandharan world. This article evaluates bead shape, size, and style to determine if the carved depictions represent actual ornaments or if they are simply symbolic or imaginative. This analysis can provide new insight into how ornaments were worn in the early historic period of South Asia and into the accuracy of iconographic depictions.

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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.

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