|Publication Date||December 31, 1998|
Beads are among the oldest forms of art. The first durable ornaments from as early as ca. 100,000 BCE survive and may be recovered archaeologically. Beads are coveted not only for their beauty, but also for their supposed magical and amuletic properties--such as protection from illness or malevolent influences--as status makers, and as indicators of prosperity. They may also be a "store of wealth," making them loosely related to money or currency. Made of materials such as shell, bone, seeds, wood, minerals, metal, and glass, beads are admired and collected worldwide. This book presents beads found in Western and Central Asia from the Eastern Mediterranean to Iran and Afghanistan; and from Island SE Asia. Many specimens date from the Roman Period or earlier, through the Islamic Period, and into modern times. The beads presented here are from a collection accumulated by Ulrich Beck--a retired Swiss architect, who lived for many years in Indonesia.