Glass trade bead assemblages recovered during archaeological investigations at nine sites by Smithsonian archaeologists Betty Meggers and Clifford Evans in Brazil in 1948 and 1949 and Guyana in 1952 and 1953 date to multiple time periods, including the early 17th, mid-18th, mid-19th, and mid-20th centuries. The assemblages are used to show that the glass bead chronologies developed in North America are directly applicable to South America and that there is a global glass bead sequence related to European colonialism. White drawn glass beads were independently dated by comparison with known composition changes through time in how the glass was made opaque. Compositions were determined using pXRF.
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.
Billeck, William T. and Luze, Meredith P.
"A Glass Bead Sequence for South America Based on Collections from Brazil and Guyana."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
31: 100-117. Available at:
Archaeological Anthropology Commons, History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology Commons, Science and Technology Studies Commons, Social and Cultural Anthropology Commons