Emma Derry

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An updated assessment of the trade beads in the Jamestown collection has long been overdue since Heather Lapham’s 1998 study. The size and variation of the collection has expanded to include nearly 4,000 glass beads representing over 100 Kidd and Kidd varieties, as well as nearly 100 lapidary beads made of amber, coral, jet, amethyst, carnelian, chalcedony, agate, and quartz. The Jamestown assemblage strongly resembles those found at 16th-century Spanish colonial sites, due to the presence of navy blue Nueva Cadiz beads manufactured in Venice and faceted quartz-crystal beads likely produced in Spain. Other beads in the collection, however, may have been imported from Venice, the Netherlands, or elsewhere. Investigation of their origins has significance for understanding the position of the Jamestown settlement within the development of early 17th-century international and local trade. The compilation of counts and typology establishes a necessary baseline upon which to build.

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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