Geoffrey Ludvik


Afghanistan occupies a unique geographic position at the crossroads of Asia on the trade routes between east and west. Among the many objects that moved through Afghanistan, stone beads were among the most common. The study of such artifacts is important because of the social significance of beads for a wide variety of cultures. This research addresses antique stone beads from Afghanistan made of agate, carnelian, faience, turquoise, jasper, and lapis lazuli. This study focuses on stylistic and morphological features as well as manufacturing techniques, specifically the nature of drilling used to perforate the beads. Using comparative experimental and archaeological studies, I have identified the types of drills used and linked them to general chronological periods. The analysis involved detailed measurements, the employment of a bead typology, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of drill hole impressions. By following this pre-established methodology, the stylistic and technical properties of these beads were determined.