Shells and Bone

Locally found Cowrie Shells were the first recorded currency used on the continent of Africa, dating from many thousands of years ago. These pages contain Shell and Bone items, both used in antiquity and for their present day decorative purposes.
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The latest finds are of 13 shell beads in the Grottes des Pigeons, a Middle Palaeolithic rock-shelter located in eastern Morocco containing a 10 meter thick deposit of archaeological occupations that have been excavated several times since its discovery in 1908. They were found in a layer dated to 82,000 years ago. Evidence from the beads themselves indicates they were collected as dead shells, carried over 40 kilometres, perforated so that they could be worn and coloured with some kind of ochre stain. These beads are the oldest explicitly symbolic artefacts recovered to date and are the same type as the slightly later beads recovered from the Howiesons Poort assemblages at Blombos Cave in South Africa. Information source

Click on the Pictures or Links below to be taken to the relevant pages

Mauritanian
Decorated Conus
Shell Singles
Strands

Cowrie Shell
 "Choker"
Necklaces and
 Leather Belts

Ancient Shell
Collections
from
Mali

Python
Snake Vertebrae

Branch Coral
from the
Algerian
Mediterranean

Benin dyed Coral

Natural
Deep Red Coral
Chips

Ostrich and Mussel
Shell beads
from
The Skeleton Coast of
Namibia

Decorated Bone
 and
Fish
Vertebrae
Collections

Cow Bone
from
East Africa
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Large Strands

"Hippo Teeth"
Necklace
and
"Camel Tooth"
Spheres
~
Modern Necklaces

Bone & Tusk
Beads
from
West Africa

Wild Boar
and
Bush Pig
Tusks

Antique Bone
Bicone
Specialist
Collection

Single
Marine and Freshwater
Shells

Large Collections
for D.I.Y.
Projects

Clam Shell
Barrels

Freshwater Pearls
from Ghana

Freshwater
and
Giant
West African
Land Snail
Shells

Historic
Ostrich Egg
and
Cowrie Shell Collections

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