Shells and Archaeology - Work in Progress


Click here to download the latest version of the data file (Microsoft Excel format)

Alphabetical List of Species - click here

Taxonomic List of Species - click here


Suggested Pictures for Book:

 
Cosmetics
Feeding shells
Fish Hooks
Jewellery
Landscapes - in-situ
Maps
Middens
Pearling
Seals

Shell Working




COSMETICS



The cosmetic shell from Tell Abraq, UAE, with its atacamite pigment. This Marcia hiantina shell was discovered in an early Iron age context during the 1992 excavations.

(Source: D.T. Potts. 2000. Ancient Magan - The Secrets of Tell Abraq. Trident Press, London. p.110.)



FEEDING SHELLS

One of the 81 fig shells (Ficus subintermedia) discovered at Tell Abraq, UAE. It was found adjacent to human bones within the Umm an-Nar tomb. These "feeding shells" were traditionally used by mothers to feed liquids to babies.
(Source: D.T. Potts. 2000. Ancient Magan - The Secrets of Tell Abraq. Trident Press, London. p.98.)






Ficus shells on display in Al Ain Museum
(Source: Mark Beech)


FISH HOOKS



Limestone files from 5th-4th mill. BC sites at Suwayh, Oman
(Source: V.Charpentier and S. Méry. 1997. Hameçons en nacre et limes en pierre d'Océanie et de l'Océan Indien: analyse d'une tendence. Journal de la Societé des Océanistes2: 147-156. Fig.4)


Sandstone files from KM1
(Source: H-P. Uerpmann and M. Uerpmann. 2003. Stone Age Sites and their Natural Environment - The Capital Area of Northern Oman Part III. Beihefte zum Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients - Reihe A (Naturwissenschaften) Nr. 31/3. Dr Ludwig Reichert, Wiesbaden, Germany. p.111, Fig.7.5)




Preparation of Pinctada shell for it to be made into a fish hook.

(Source: Dr Mark Beech)





Shell fish hook from Khor Milkh, Oman
(Source: Dr Mark Beech)




Sandstone files from KM1
(Source: H-P. Uerpmann and M. Uerpmann. 2003. Stone Age Sites and their Natural Environment - The Capital Area of Northern Oman Part III. Beihefte zum Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients - Reihe A (Naturwissenschaften) Nr. 31/3. Dr Ludwig Reichert, Wiesbaden, Germany. p.109, Fig.7.4)



JEWELLERY



Pearl oyster buttons from site H3, Kuwait
(Source: Robert Carter)




Pierced pearl from site H3, Kuwait
(Source: Mark Beech)




String of shell beads from site H3, Kuwait
(Source: Robert Carter)




Worked shell at Ras al-Hadd
(Source: Dr Mark Beech)





Shell pendants from Oman
(Source: Dr Mark Beech)






Neolithic skeleton at Jebel Buhais, Sharjah, UAE. This ca 7000 year old skeleton has shell necklaces and bracelets made up of hundreds of tiny shells.
(Source: http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/uni/afa/projekte/albuhais/abh_2uk.html
)





Worked shell "belt buckle" from Sharm, UAE.
(Source: D. Barker and T. Hartnell. 2000. Notes on a decorated spiny oyster from Sharm. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 11: 204-206, p.205, Fig.2)





Shell beads and bracelet from Al-Haddah BJD-1, Oman
(Source: V. Charpentier, M. Cremaschi and F. Demnard. 1997. Une campagne archéologique sur un site côtier du Ja'alan: Al-Haddah (BJD-1) et sa culture matérielle (Sultanat d'Oman). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 27: 99-111, p.106, Fig.5)





Shell beads and adornments from Khor Milkh 2, Oman
(Source:
H-P. Uerpmann and M. Uerpmann. 2003. Stone Age Sites and their Natural Environment - The Capital Area of Northern Oman Part III. Beihefte zum Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients - Reihe A (Naturwissenschaften) Nr. 31/3. Dr Ludwig Reichert, Wiesbaden, Germany. p.133, Fig.7.21)





Shell beads and adornments from Khor Milkh 1.1, Oman
(Source:
H-P. Uerpmann and M. Uerpmann. 2003. Stone Age Sites and their Natural Environment - The Capital Area of Northern Oman Part III. Beihefte zum Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients - Reihe A (Naturwissenschaften) Nr. 31/3. Dr Ludwig Reichert, Wiesbaden, Germany. p.106, Fig.7.3)





Shell beads and adornments from Trench G of Wadi Wutayya, Oman
(Source:
H-P. Uerpmann and M. Uerpmann. 2003. Stone Age Sites and their Natural Environment - The Capital Area of Northern Oman Part III. Beihefte zum Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients - Reihe A (Naturwissenschaften) Nr. 31/3. Dr Ludwig Reichert, Wiesbaden, Germany. p.45, Fig.4.2)


LANDSCAPES - IN-SITU




Intertidal zone in the Khor Al-Sabiyah, Kuwait
(Source: Dr. Mark Beech)

Lunella coronata in a rock pool at Sabiyah, Kuwait
(Source: Dr. Mark Beech)





Big shell in Oman
(Source: Dr Mark Beech)





Terebralia palustris at Kalba, UAE
(Source: Dr Mark Beech)





MAPS



**** Must check the reference that this map comes from......

(Source: Kenoyer 1998 fig,5.20b).

Is it from this: ?
Kenoyer, J. M. 1998 Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Karachi, Oxford University Press.



MIDDENS




Large shell midden at Umm al-Qaiwain
(Source: Mark Beech)



PEARLING




Reconstruction of opening up pearl oysters whilst on board the pearling boat, Bahrain National Museum
(Source: Dr. Mark Beech)






Mifleqah, a special knife used for opening oysters, Bahrain National Museum
(Source: Dr. Mark Beech)





Pearls in a pearl oyster, Bahrain National Museum
(Source: Dr. Mark Beech)





Hoard of pearls in a Murex. Found in a surface level at Qal'at al-Bahrain during 1996 french excavations (QA96.240). The finds date to the Islamic period (?15/16th c. AD). The shell contained the impressive total of 407 very small pearls!
(Source: A. Musameh. 2000. Dilmun's Merchants, Ancient and Modern. pp.204-207. Fig.367. In: H. Crawford and M. Rice (eds.), Traces of Paradise: The Archaeology of Bahrain 2500 BC - 300AD. Bahrain National Museum.)




SEALS



Dilmun period shell seals from Sar El-Jisr burial mounds, Bahrain.
(Source: H. Khalifa and M. Ibrahim. 1982. The Seals. pp.37-39. Fig.48. In: M. Ibrahim, Excavations of the Arab Expedition at Sar El-Jisr, Bahrain. Ministry of Information, Bahrain.)



SHELL TOOLS



Amiantis umbonella shell tool from Suwayh SWY-1, Oman
(Source: V. Charpentier, S. Méry and C. Phillips. 2004. Des coquillages... outillages des Ichtophages? Mise en évidence d'industries sur Veneridae, du Néolithique à l'âge du Fer (Yémen, Oman, E.A.U.). Arabicn Archaeology and Epigraphy 15: 1-10. p.5, Figs.2-3)




Meretrix sp. shell tools from Suwayh SWY-2, Oman
(Source: V. Charpentier, S. Méry and C. Phillips. 2004. Des coquillages... outillages des Ichtophages? Mise en évidence d'industries sur Veneridae, du Néolithique à l'âge du Fer (Yémen, Oman, E.A.U.). Arabicn Archaeology and Epigraphy 15: 1-10. p.6, Fig.4)


SHELL WORKING



Experimental opening of Terebralia snails with a flint chisel and the resulting shell fragments (drawing by Walter Söffner)
(Source: H-P. Uerpmann and M. Uerpmann. 2003. Stone Age Sites and their Natural Environment - The Capital Area of Northern Oman Part III. Beihefte zum Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients - Reihe A (Naturwissenschaften) Nr. 31/3. Dr Ludwig Reichert, Wiesbaden, Germany. p.115, Fig.7.8)



Last update: TOTAL = 33 pictures (14 Nov 2004)

That's it so far !