Petrie Museum

Bead Collections

There are some 3000 strings of beads in the Petrie Museum. These formed the subject of a dissertation in the 1940s by Xia Nai, one of China’s leading archaeologists and pioneers after the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. Xia Nai's dissertation was only published in 2014 and to ensure that the research that underpinned this was also available, scans of Xia Nai's 1760 index cards held in the Petrie Museum archives were made.


Online Resources

  • Xia Nai index card can be accessed here.
  • Professor Stephen Quirke's introduction to Xia Nai's corpus is available here.
  • Kristin Phelps' account of digitizing the index cards can be found here.
  • Shuoting Zhang and Daniel Takacs' concordance of Xia Nai and UC numbers can be found here


  • Xia, Nai (2014) Ancient Egyptian Beads. Springer. [available as an ebook from here]


We are very grateful to the staff, volunteers and students who have contributed to making the Xia Nai archive resource publically available: Sam Washington, Daniel Takacs, Kristin Phelps, Shuoting Zhang and Marwa Helmy.

Page last modified on 30 sep 14 17:45