Article Title

The Large Glass Beads of Leech Fibulae from Iron Age Necropoli in Northern Italy


Leonie C. Koch




During the Iron Age, around 700 BC, artisans in northern Italy produced bronze bow fibulae decorated with large, elongated, leech-shaped glass beads. These extraordinary brooches, known only from women’s tombs, required special technical knowledge and skill to create. This article provides an overview of these adornments as well as insights into their production technology, chemical composition, and origin. The wide variety of these objects suggests the existence of several local glass workshops.

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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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