This paper presents a classification for beads of the Merovingian period (ca. A.D. 450-750) in the Lower Rhine region of Germany. Strings of beads recovered from graves are ordered by a seriation (correspondence analysis) which results in an ethnic (Roman vs. Frankish) and chronological structuring of the material. By comparing this with the chronological scheme established for the other archaeological finds, it becomes evident that the favored types of beads changed about every two generations. Besides changes in distinctive types, a development in general color preference is also observed.
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.
"Merovingian Beads on the Lower Rhine."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
7: 37-53. Available at: