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Beads from Nineveh

  • Horace C. Beck

One of the most important finds made during last (1929–30) season's excavation at Nineveh, is the collection of beads from 0 what Dr Campbell Thompson, the Director, calls the bead- layer. This layer was about 6 feet thick and situated at a depth of from 27 to 33 feet below the surface on a portion of the site called A and B. In addition, some other beads were found at lesser depths on the part of the site called H, which I think I can show are very closely connected with those from the bead-layer.

How such a large number of beads came to be collected together here it is difficult to explain. As they were found in what appears to be the bed of a small rivulet they may have been washed down.1 The lie of the land at this point makes it probable, but if so they must have been washed out from a large cache at a period when they were very much stronger than today. In their present condition a few minutes rolling in a stream would disintegrate most of the faience beads. Possibly they came from the remains of a bead factory, and the fact that a number of pieces of slag have been found tends to make this theory plausible.

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1 The result of a further season’s excavation makes it rather doubtful if there was an actual rivulet, but the fact that the bead-layer was at the bottom of a slope would render it extremely muddy in times of rain.

2 Another with 2 black zones (26) and in much better condition than usual was found at A 12, but evidently belongs to the bead-layer.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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