A TREASURE of ancient articles, including some jewelry, discovered in tombs in cemeteries and tumuli in the Qustul and Banana regions of northern Nubia (now part of Egypt), between Abu Simbel and Sudan, excavated in anticipation of the flooding by the Aswan Dam. The tombs are from the little-known X-Croup (or Ballana) culture of the 3rd/6th centuries AD, between the Meroitic and Christian eras. The first excavations (apart from ancient tomb plundering) were by Walter Emery beiween 1931 and 1933 and later by Shafiq Farid, and then in 1963-4 by Prof. Keith C. Seele, of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (which was given ownership of 95% of its finds). The finds included pottery, bronze vessels, and metal tools, and also many articles of jewelry, such as a silver wreath and gold and silver bracelets, finger rings, ear-rings, hair-rings, and necklaces with suspended amulets and pendants, as well as numerous beads and ornamental objects of EGYPTIAN FAIENCE, bone, shell, ivory, glass, and CORNELIAN. See Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 33, no. 1 (January 1974).
xanthite. A variety of IDOCRASE that is transparent and yellowish-brown.
Writer – Thames and Hudson