Lester A. Ross

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Archaeological excavations conducted at Hudson's Bay Company Fort Vancouver recovered 100,000+ trade beads of 152 varieties, including 80 varieties of drawn, 57 varieties of wound, 10 varieties of mold-pressed and 3 varieties of blown glass beads, as well as one variety each of "Prosser-molded" ceramic and cut-stone beads. An additional 6000+ beads recovered from excavations at the HBC Kanaka village and riverside complex sites may include 39 additional varieties possibly associated with the HBC occupation: 17 varieties of drawn, 12 varieties of wound, and 5 varieties of mold-pressed glass beads, as well as one variety each of stone, bone, wood, metal, and shell beads. The bead assemblage has contributed to the initial definition of a complex temporal and cultural horizon marker dating from 1829 to 1860 for the Pacific Northwest, and provides insights into mid-19th-century Native-American and EuroAmerican bead preferences. Analysis of the assemblage demonstrates difficulties inherent in the existing archaeological bead classification system, and suggestions for revisions are discussed.

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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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