Article Title

Guide to the Description and Classification of Glass Beads Found in the Americas


Karlis Karklins


This guide provides information relevant to the description and classification of glass beads recovered from archaeological sites in North and South America and the Caribbean. It is partly based on and intended to be used with "A Classification System for Glass Beads for the Use of Field Archaeologists," by Kenneth and Martha Kidd. Material presented includes a critical evaluation of several bead classification schemes, an overview of bead manufacturing techniques, a descriptive listing of the various classes and types of beads that have been recorded to date, and an explication of the physical attributes of a bead, as well as interpretative material concerning dating and likely origins.

Publisher Information

The Society of Bead Researchers is a non-profit scientific-educational corporation founded in 1981 to foster historical, archaeological, and material cultural research on beads and beadwork of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research.

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