Friday, September 19, 2008

Trade Beads

Glass beads, like the one shown below, were introduced by Europeans in the 17th Century. They became more prevalent in trade between the Native Americans and Europeans through the 18th Century. The one shown below was found on the Burch House property last year in the initial test pit survey. This summer we found a second glass bead that is barrel shaped. No other trade goods have come from our excavations as of yet. I hope that we are able to find some other trade goods (e.g., copper) in the future to help confirm our Contact Period site.
The glass beads and other goods, such as thin sheets of copper, were traded for food and clothing (fur pelts in the early days in a short lived attempt at fur trade) between the European settlers and the Native Americans. This is not something newly discovered, it has been well documented and found throughout the United States.

Dating the beads themselves is difficult, but finding them in context with other artifacts from the 17th Century will help us better define our Contact Period site in Port Tobacco.

- Peter

1 comment:

Dancing Willow said...

I love beads and the like that they used for jewelry or on clothing. I would love to see more!