Beads 27 (2015)
Ceramics and Glass Beads as Symbolic Mixed Media in Colonial Native North America, by Gregory A. Waselkov, David W. Morgan, and Billie Coleman
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Native Americans rarely adorned ceramic objects with glass beads, despite the millions of beads introduced by Europeans through trade. Bead-decorated ceramics have been reported from only nine sites in North America, perhaps due to a tendency for archaeologists to overlook or misclassify bead-inlaid pottery. These rare artifacts speak to the interconnectedness of ancient Native Americans and to related worldviews developed over centuries of intercommunication involving mutually intelligible symbolic metaphors.
A 17th-Century Glass Bead Factory at Hammersmith Embankment, London, England, by Karlis Karklins, Laure Dussubieux, and Ron G.V. Hancock
Excavations in 2001 and 2005 at Hammersmith Embankment in West London uncovered the remains of two glass furnaces with associated wasters relating to the manufacture of drawn glass beads during the second quarter of the 17th century. The site is significant as it represents the first archaeological evidence for the production of glass beads in post-medieval England. A preliminary study of the recovered material reveals the presence of 43 different bead varieties. Comparisons of the chemical compositions of the Hammersmith beads with those of beads from a contemporary Amsterdam factory and other loci reveal a number of similarities as well as differences.
Pipeclay Beads from Norton St Philip, England, by Marek Lewcun
In 17th-century England, the village of Norton St Philip was well known as a center for the manufacture of clay tobacco pipes. In recent years, however, discoveries have shown that pipes were not the only things they made, as among a variety of interesting objects are some quite remarkable beads.
Beads and Pendants from Sedeinga, Nubia, by Joanna Then-Obłuska
Excavations conducted during the 2009-2014 seasons at the burial site of Sedeinga, Nubia, produced 3,400 beads and pendants of various materials which date to the Late Napatan and Meroitic periods, ca. 400 B.C.-A.D. 300. The chronological, geographical, and political situation of the site made the bead assemblage exceptionally rich in organic and inorganic materials as well as the technologies used to make the objects. During a period dominated by faience and glass in bead production, the use of organics and stones indicates strong links with the neighboring Nubian deserts, an overland connection with the Red Sea coast, and, surprisingly, an interest in the resources of the Nile River.