Toward a systematic bead description system: A view from the lower falemme, Senegal

Christopher R. DeCorse, François G. Richard, Ibrahima Thiaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This study examines a glass bead assemblage from surveyed and excavated portions of the Falemme (Senegal) to present a classification system for the analysis of archaeological beads in Africa and beyond. Although bead classification poses special problems, it is argued that such analysis is worthwhile, as beads may shed light on the dynamics of production, exchange and consumption in the past, on processes of culture change and continuity, and, most particularly, on chronological assessment. Focusing on the latter, the typological analysis helped us extract diagnostic information from the 474 mainly European-made beads, which complements and nicely supports the temporal sequence derived from imported trade materials and local ceramics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-110
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of African Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Beads
  • Methodology
  • Senegal
  • Trade
  • Typology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archaeology


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