Tag Archives: south asia

Excavating My Own Research

This morning I was writing an idea I’d had down in my notebook. It’s a bead research notebook that I’ve had for about six years, but I’ve had phases of being really bad about writing stuff in it. As a … Continue reading

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Collared Beads

Collared beads are any bead that has a line or indent on each end of the bead going all the way around to make little collars. This can just be a small line in the bead or it can be a bit of a bulge. So long as there is one on each end, it’s a collar. Continue reading

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Melon (Gadrooned) Beads

Gadrooned beads (most commonly known as melon beads) are another style that has been around for millennia. Melon beads are beads that have convex decorations around the edge that make it look a bit like a melon. Archaeologists tend to … Continue reading

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Segmented Beads

Segmented beads usually refers to a technique of manufacture for glass beads, not to the specific shape of the bead. Segmented beads are generally made rolling a tube of glass along a mold to form bulges, though this can be done by hand as well. These tubes are then cut in lengths of one, two, three, four, or five bulges to create a single bead. Continue reading

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South African Glass

More recent research has been done on African glass, and my list is certainly not exhaustive, but I know of three main published sources for South African glass studies. One looks at beads form Mapungubwe and Bambandyanolo in the Limpopo Valley of South Africa and Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. The second looks at beads specifically from Mapungubwe, and the third looks at sites from Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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East African Glass

There are two main areas in sub-Saharan Africa that feature prominently in glass studies: East Africa and South Africa. Unfortunately, there are not very many people looking at glass in sub-Saharan Africa and I haven’t actively searched for material related to sub-Saharan glass in several years, making these entries far less informative than some of my other regional summaries. Continue reading

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Middle Eastern Glass

The Middle East, namely the area of ancient Mesopotamia, is seen as one of the populations to first invent glass. The extent of glass in the Middle East (both geographically and chronologically) provides a vast amount of data, and I cannot begin to summarise all of it here. Instead, I’m going to look at studies of 1st-13th century glass, since that is the time period I generally frequent in my own research.

The main focus of a lot of work on Middle Eastern glass, like that of Roman and Egyptian glass, is on manufacture and the recipes used to create it. This isn’t terribly surprising, given the similar shift in chemical type to Egyptian and Roman glasses. Continue reading

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On Craft and Chemistry

There is quite the divide in India, Egypt, Rome, and other regions between sites that make glass and sites that then turn that glass into beads. If this is the case, then any analysis of glass beads needs to take … Continue reading

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Chemical Analysis of Glass

One of the least well-known methods for analyzing glass beads is through the chemical composition of the glass.  Methods for glass chemical analysis have existed for almost a century, but until recently any beads used would be destroyed in the … Continue reading

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Of Manufacture and Men

The two largest ideas I’ve had about glass bead manufacture over the past week are fairly related, or at least, they might be if I could articulate them better.  Both work off of the idea that glass and bead manufacture … Continue reading

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