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The glass beads from Ingombe Ilede

  • Peter Robertshaw (a1) and Marilee Wood (a2)

Analysis of glass beads from the Ingombe Ilede burials provides additional information that supports McIntosh and Fagan's new dating of burials 3 and 8, and that also clarifies the chronology of some of the other burials. Following an unsuccessful attempt to locate the Ingombe Ilede beads in the Livingstone Museum, we analysed beads from a card with samples of Ingombe Ilede beads that had been originally prepared by A.P. du Toit (1965), and later sold to MuseuMAfricA in Johannesburg (Figure 1). The beads were chemically analysed using LA-ICP-MS, as part of a larger project on ancient African glass bead chemistry (Robertshaw et al. 2003). All analysed beads from burials 3 and 8 belong to the Khami series produced in India and traded into southern and south-central Africa from the mid fifteenth to mid seventeenth centuries. Some beads of an earlier type were present in other graves, and may have been kept as heirlooms.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
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