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Excavation of the contact-period components of the Maya sites of Lamanai and Tipu, in northern and west-central Belize, respectively, have yielded moderate collections of European glass and other beads. The archaeological data are augmented by ethnohistorical documentation regarding the length of Maya/Spanish interaction. Contexts do not provide unequivocal stratigraphic evidence of sequential bead importation, but known dates of bead varieties assist in refining both site chronology and the understanding of bead use. As the first Central American collections to be analyzed, the two assemblages offer an initial glimpse of one aspect of European impact on native material and non-material culture.

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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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