Name of Object:



Setif, Algeria

Holding Museum:

National Museum of Setif

About National Museum of Setif, Setif

Date of Object:

Hegira 524–668 / AD 1130–1269 or Hegira 627–982 / AD 1229–1574

Museum Inventory Number:

bjx.08, bjx.09

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Incised silver.


Diameter 3 cm, diameter of the hoop 1.4 cm, weight 2 g

Period / Dynasty:

Almohad or Hafsid


Qal’at Bani Hammad, Algeria.


Pair of earrings consisting of a rounded wire of silver, curved in the shape of a circle and adorned with a mobile hollow ball composed of two pieces soldered together. Both ends of the wire curve back on themselves, forming a ring at each end that allows for a clip or a thread to be passed through it. The ball is embellished with circular fillets that stand out in relief, composing four juxtaposing bands decorated with small filigree circles.
These objects of finery could also be viewed as ear pendants, given that the circular ring-like shape at both ends of the wire enable it to be fixed to a veil or shawl so as to hang at ear level.

View Short Description

Pair of earrings made of rounded silver wire bent into a circle with an empty, moveable ball made of two halves soldered together. The two ends of the wire form rings. The ball is decorated with circular lines in relief interspersed with filigree circles.

How date and origin were established:

Bourouiba dates these earrings to the Hammadid era without offering justification. This hypothesis is challenged by an inscription featured on a medallion found alongside these earrings that was written in naskhi characters (cursive), a script particular to the Almohads and the Hafsids, and not the Hammadids, who used kufic lettering. Furthermore, these earrings were brought to light along with thousands of Almohad coins and one Hafsid coin. It would thus make sense to date it to the 7th / 13th century.

How Object was obtained:

Archaeological repository (Bourouiba excavations, September 1967).

How provenance was established:

Bourouiba states, in the Bulletin d'archéologie algérienne (Vol. III, 1968), that the earrings were discovered 'in the western part of the prayer hall of the mosque of the Qal'a of the Bani Hammad, near the last pillar of the penultimate nave, to the right of the mihrab'.

Selected bibliography:

Bourouiba, R., Cités disparues: Tahert, Sédrata, Achir, Kalaâ des Beni Hammad, Algiers, 1982.
Bourouiba, R., Les H'ammadites, Algiers, 1984.
Bourouiba, R., “Note sur des bijoux trouvés à la Qal'a des Banu Hammad”, Bulletin d'archéologie algérienne, Vol. III, Algiers, 1968, pp. 353–67.
Eudel, P., Dictionnaire des bijoux de l'Afrique du Nord, Maroc, Algérie, Tripolitaine, Paris, 1906.
Golvin, L., Recherches archéologiques à la Qal'a des Banû Hammâd, Paris, 1965.

Citation of this web page:

Houria Cherid "Earrings" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;ISL;dz;Mus01;43;en

Prepared by: Houria CheridHouria Cherid

Titulaire d'un magister en archéologie islamique (1992), enseignante à l'Institut d'archéologie de l'université d'Alger de 1992 à 1999, conservateur du patrimoine archéologique et historique au Musée national des antiquités de 1994 à 2002, puis conservateur en chef à partir de 2002, Houria Cherid est chef du service Labo-photo, département Animation et Documentation au Musée national des antiquités. Elle a publié de nombreux articles dans les Annales du Musée national des antiquités et prépare actuellement un doctorat en archéologie islamique.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: AL 78


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