Beads 1 (1989)
Diakhité: A Study of the Beads from an 18th-19th-Century Burial Site in Senegal, West Africa, by Marie-José Opper and Howard Opper
It is the intention of this paper to place the Diakhité beads into a historical and archaeological perspective, and by so doing examine a period in Senegambian history that roughly extends from the 18th century to around the middle of the 19th century. The beads serve as a focal point to describe the trade that brought them from Europe and elsewhere to Senegambia. They also help portray some aspects of the lives of a particular ethnic group which inhabited the Thies area during this period – the Serer Nones.
Beads of the Early Islamic Period, by Peter Francis, Jr.
Beads from four sites involved in Early Islamic trade (7th to 12th century) are representative of the role the Muslim world played in the Indian Ocean Bead Trade. The continuation of Classical techniques, the Islamic trade’s self-sufficiency, and the insight beads provide concerning past behavior are some of the issues explored.
Beads as Chronological Indicators in West African Archaeology: A Reexamination, by Christopher R. DeCorse
Drawing primarily on data obtained from recent excavations at Elmina, Ghana, this report examines the potential use of beads as temporal markers in West African archaeology. It is argued that although beads from West-African contexts are difficult to date, they provide more information than has previously been suggested. The Elmina beads are of particular interest as they can be closely dated by associated European trade materials. Preliminary results from the analysis of the 30,000 European and locally-made glass beads are discussed and findings from other West-African sites are evaluated.