Senior Thesis Abstract (Peterson)


Ornamentation and Intercultural Contact in the Early Bronze Age: A Preliminary Study of the Beads of Ras Al-Jinz, Oman

Sarah Peterson

Sub-field: Archaeology

Advisor: Gregory Possehl , Department of Anthropology & School of Medicine

The study of beads can provide unique insight into many aspects of ancient cultures: chronological trends, aesthetic movements, supernatural beliefs, technological capacity, and external contacts to name a few. But despite their utility, beads have long been an under-appreciated part of the archaeological record, especially in the Near- and Middle-East. Over 11,000 beads have been recovered from two Early Bronze Age (EBA) sites on the eastern coast of Oman, RJ-1 and RJ-2, during the last twenty years of excavation. Yet, in all the literature documenting the sites at Ras al-Jinz, beads are barely mentioned. This preliminary study reveals that, in addition to confirming the existence of contact between the Umm an-Nar and foreign civilizations, the bead record of Ras al-Jinz gives insight into the cultural and economic relationships wrought by such contact.

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