Tag Archives: artefact

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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Spiral Beads

One of my favourite bead designs is the spiral bead. These beads are always wound and tend to be either normal, circular beads, triangular beads or (technically) hexagonal. They have anywhere between two and four spirals that radiate out until … Continue reading

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Museum Highlights: National Museum of Scotland, Part 1

The National Museum of Scotland holds a very dear place in my heart, since I spent the majority of my MLitt dissertation working feverishly on the bead collections here. My first visit to the museum was actually for a class. … Continue reading

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Stripes, Swirls, and Squiggles: Line Styles

Line style is a fairly straightforward category. This basically describes the pattern of any lines that decorate the bead – not the pattern those lines make, but the pattern they have. There are only a few options for this. First … Continue reading

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Swag Beads

Swag beads are probably my favourite type of design, largely because of the name. It really is a technical term, and I am all for bringing it back into popular usage in bead studies. Swag on a bead simply refers … Continue reading

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Museum Highlights: Upcountry History Museum

Last Friday, I was down in Greenville, South Carolina for my twin brother’s wedding. My family and I flew into Charlotte, getting into Greenville around 11:30 in the morning. We had a good 4 hours before we could check into … 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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Zone Beads

Zone beads are another pretty large category of polychrome bead, though they only seem to be called zone beads in Asia. Zone beads are any bead with one or more lines around the centre, running perpendicular to the perforation, such … Continue reading

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Museum Highlights: Historic Jamestowne

After looking at all these beads, a lot of you are probably wondering where you might be able to see all these beads, or at least examples of them. Archaeological beads are never terribly far away – nearly every museum … 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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