Strand of Beads

Object Name: Strand of beads

Date: 9th–12th century

Geography: Excavated in Iran, Nishapur

Medium: Carnelian

Dimensions: H. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)
W. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm)
D. 5/8 in. (1.6 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1948

Accession Number: 48.101.70


These beads, found together but restrung in a modern setting, may have formed a strand of prayer beads, which in Islamic practice have either thirty-three or ninety-nine beads to facilitate the recitation of the ninety-nine names of God. The pendant bead here is of the size and form commonly used as the chief spacer and "handle," which the person praying could use to keep track of a circuit.