Beads and Archaeology
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Posted by: Karlis Post Reply
07/26/2017, 10:41:05

I just read Joe Joseph’s comments in the spring issue of the SHA Newsletter on the “Valuing Archaeology Beyond Archaeology” workshop held in May. In it he mentions NPS Barbara Little’s comment that the group should consider “where the world would be without archaeology?” This relates to bead research and collecting. Just about all the information we have about beads made before around 1850 comes from the archaeological record. This is why it is so important to help protect archaeological sites around the world and avoid buying ancient beads that do not have a bonafide pedigree. Many of the ancient beads offered these days have been looted from museums and sites in the war-torn Middle East or looted from archaeological sites in Africa and Asia, especially. These have lost almost all of their history and basically become just pretty objects... little orphans with little or no past and a doubtful future. We need to make every effort to stop the looting and sale of such materials so that bead knowledge continues to flow.

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