Category Archives: Methodologies

Bead Design: Take 2

You may remember that back in October, I started to write a series of posts about documenting the designs of polychrome beads. I started to describe my system, and then promptly fell into one of the busiest three months of … Continue reading

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Stripes, Swirls, and Squiggles: Design Shape

Aside from the number of colours involved in the design, the first element I record is the shape itself. This can be any design that isn’t a line, like eyes, flowers, spirals, stars, fish, birds, etc. The simplest shape is … Continue reading

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Stripes, Swirls, and Squiggles: Documenting Bead Designs

Documenting design is a highly complex thing to do. Yesterday’s post talked only about eye beads, but we saw that there is a large variety of what might be called eye beads in the archaeological record. So how do we … Continue reading

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Diaphaneity

Diaphaneity is the catchall term for opaque, translucent, or transparent. Opaque means that when you shine a light through the object, it doesn’t shine through to the other side (like a piece of metal). Translucent means that the light does … Continue reading

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Documenting Polychrome Beads

So far, we’ve been talking about monochrome beads and how to document their color. But that’s not the only type of bead we find – roughly 10-15% of the beads I come across are polychrome, or have multiple colors. If … Continue reading

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Color and Lighting

I’ve mentioned a number of times how the lighting on or behind a bead can change its color. Black beads are actually cobalt blue, purple, green, or even hot pink when view with an LED light shining through. Brown beads … Continue reading

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What Color Is That? Part 3

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about determining the color of a bead. We’ve talked about the primary color and then the secondary color, and then I took a break because of the holidays. But now we’re back … Continue reading

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What Color Is That? Part 2

Last week, I talked a lot about how to talk about bead colors. The first step is figuring out the primary color of the bead, which can be incredibly straightforward or incredibly not straightforward. Assuming you’ve figured that out, let’s … Continue reading

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What Color Is That? Part 1

I’ve talked a lot about color in the last week or so, and it’s only going to increase. So here’s the first of several posts on how to actually talk about the color of a bead. I’m going to start … Continue reading

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Visual Classification of Beads

Beads come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. They can be manufactured in a number of ways and have any combination of decorations and alterations to their form. So few people study glass beads that there is no standard method for discussing or classifying them. Continue reading

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