Since 2010 Ann Andersson (MA, University of Copenhagen) has carried out research on the bead material from the Danish Archaeological Mission to Failaka, Kuwait, conducted by Moesgaard Museum, Denmark, with the generous support of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, Kuwait. Ann is responsible for the analysis and publication of the bead corpus from the Danish excavations, which has resulted in the recent publication of the bead material from the 2008‐2012 excavations at Tell F6 (Andersson in Højlund & Abu‐Laban 2016). In the future Ann will be publishing her studies of the beads found during the Danish excavations in 1958‐1963 at Tell F3 and Tell F6, along with those from the Danish excavations of 2012‐2017 at Tell F3. Since 2005, Ann has worked at archaeological projects in Jordan (University of Copenhagen) and Qatar (University of Copenhagen), as a ceramicist, finds registrar and field archaeologist.


Andersson, A.

2014 Beads, Pendants and Other Ornaments from the Late 3rd2nd Millennium BC

Occupation on Failaka, Kuwait. In Beyond Ornamentation. Jewelry as an Aspect of Material

Culture in the Ancient Near East (eds.) Golani, A. and Wygnanska, Z. Polish Archaeology in

the Mediterranean, vol. XXIII.2. pp. 209‐223.

Andersson, A.

2016 Beads in Tell F6 on Failaka Island. Kuwaiti‐Danish Excavations 2008‐2012 (eds).

Højlund, F. & Abu‐Laban, A. Jutland Archaeological Society Publications vol. 92. pp. 176‐198.



Beads, pendants and other ornaments as indicators of long‐distance trade. Potential links between the Dilmun trading station at Failaka Island, Kuwait, and the Indus region in the Late third‐second millennium B.C.

The island of Failaka is favourably positioned in the Persian Gulf and would have held a strong strategically advantage in controlling the sea‐bound traffic and the commercial activities transiting through the Gulf in Antiquity. Past and present excavations on the island have uncovered two smaller settlements (Tell F3 and Al Khidr), along with a temple and a socalled “Palace” (an administrative building) at Tell F6, which have been ascribed to different phases of the Dilmun culture (approx. 1900‐1300 B.C.). Recent excavations at Tell F6 (2008‐2012) have also uncovered evidence of earlier occupation on the island (dated approx. 2100‐2000 B.C.). The archaeological remains at Failaka are interpreted as a trading station functioning as a hub in the trading network transporting goods between Mesopotamia and potentially as far as the Indus region. This paper focuses on the substantial quantity of beads found during the excavations of Tell F3 and Tell F6 at Failaka Island. These beads are made from a range of semiprecious stones such as Agate, Carnelian, Jasper and Lapis Lazuli. Since such semiprecious stones are not found locally at the island, they must have been brought to Failaka. It is noteworthy that the beads are all found in settlement contexts at Tell F3 and Tell F6, since no graves of the

period have been located on the island. In general, beads made from semiprecious stones are durable and easily transportable goods of high commercial value making them good indicators of long distance trade. This paper will examine the evidence for contacts and trade links between the Dilmun area, regions along the Persian Gulf and as far away as the Indus region, through the bead material found at Failaka Island.