ANCIENT FOSSIL BEADS
                                    Beads made out of fossil material

The exceptional beads displayed here are made of various kinds of fossil stone material. This rare collection also belongs to my favorite beads. Almost all of them are from the Indus Valley culture. What does that signify? The Indus people loved rare material in their bead productions. From the treasure troves of the most ancient times, we find a lot of beads made out of fossil materials.

 

C.G. Jung would call the following incident synchronicity. Two weeks after I got all these beautiful Indus beads in Thailand, I walked a Sri Lankan sunset beach. There were corals everywhere, and suddenly my eye searched out this one. One  could say that my eyes were looking out for sync:
It is quite evident that the corals in the large yellow Indus bead displayed above and in the coral are identical. Displayed below, you can see another huge soft stone early Indus bead with the same fossilized patterns.



38,5 * 30.5 * 11 mm

By the way, the wonderful yellow sandstone bead displayed to the left gave me the idea to a definition of an Indus bead. Here you can see the hole of the bead:

If you can breathe comfortably  through the hole, it is either a pre-Indus or an Indus Valley bead.
A Mauryan bead will make you feel uncomfortable and a Gupta bead will suffocate you. Anyhow ... from the Gupta period and onwards Indian bead making has been in decline. At least this is my opinion.

Hard versus soft stone beads
Many of the most ancient beads are made of sandstone like the beads displayed above. I guess that many of these fossilized beads even are pre-Indus.

The change in society from a relatively egalitarian hunter-gatherer society to a more hierarchy based agricultural society can be read out of the choice of bead material. Most of the oldest Indus beads are made in soft stone like the fossil beads above and below. However, harder materials like jasper and agate soon took over. Harder stone beads like the ones made in agate or jasper were much more challenging and time-consuming to make. Hence they could be used in the emerging need for a sdisplay of status. Soft stones could, however, survive as long as they displayed rare esthetic qualities, which they basically only could do as compared to the natural complexity of patterns and colors found in agate and jasper, in the form of fossilized material. Beads made of attractive fossilized sandstone could still could still for some time compete with the 100 times harder to make cryptocrystalline agate or jasper beads. In the same movement the tradition of pricing fossilized material highest continued into the hard stone bead making period. If that is the case, one could assume that fossilized agate and jasper beads would be placed in the top of the prestige pyramid.


 



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larger images
 

 

  
 


 

 

AFB 1 - 22 * 8 mm


The photo scan shows the special uneven surface on these beads. The polishing technique used on here is unusual and done with very rough abrasives.





 

 







 

AFB 2 - 30 * 7 mm








 

 









 

AFB 3 - 24 * 18 * 7,5 mm - SOLD


 




 
 



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AFB 4  - 23 * 20 * 9 mm - I call this bead Perfect imperfection


The repetetive geometric patterns on this variegated jasper Indus-bead speaks for itself. The bead is scarred, but it still manages to pass on the ancient message of beauty understood as order in chaos.


 

 



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FB5  - 30,5 * 11 mm







 

 




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AFB 6  - 24 * 9 mm


 




 

 



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AFB 7   - 28,5, 8 mm


 





 

 




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AFB 8 - 25,5 * 8,5 mm








 

 




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AFB 9  - 28 * 12 * 11 mm







 

 




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AFB 10   - 36 *12 mm






 

 




 

AFB 11 - (EIV 7) - 30,5 * 12 mm







 

 



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AFB 12  - 18 * 11 * 9,5 mm


 





 

 



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AFB 13  - 17 * 11,5 mm - SOLD








 

 



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AFB 14 - 14 * 10 * 7,5 mm








 

 



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AFB 15 -  33 * 33 * 11 mm


 

 


 

 




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AFB 16 -  29 * 28 * 12,5 mm








 

 



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AFB 17 -  100 * 48 * 14 mm








 

 



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AFB 18 -  58 * 21 * 9,5 mm








 

 



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AFB 19 -  40 * 24 mm








 

 



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AFB 20   - 41 * 28 * 11 mm


Fossilized corals - sandstone



 


 

 




















































 

AFB 21 -  (EIV 1)  - 56 * 20 mm - NOT FOR SALE









 

 



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AFB 22 -  (EIV 3)  -  66,5 * 19,5 mm  - NOT FOR SALE







 

 



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AFB 23 -  33,5 * 11 mm








 

 


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AFB 23 -  17,5 * 14 * 6 mm








 

 

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Contact: Gunnar Muhlman - Gunnars@mail.com