Archaeometrical study of Glass Trade Beads from the ClFi-10 site: results and their potential to investigate Amerindian exchange networks
Hundreds of kilos of glass beads were imported by European traders and were a privileged exchange “money’ with Amerindians during the 17th and the 18th centuries. Once acquired, these beads were either used or bartered with other Amerindian people. Glass beads could therefore be of great help to trace for trade routes in North America. For this purpose, markers for each group of beads imported from Europe need to be found. The chemical composition of glass beads has been analyzed by instrumental neutron activation and has already given some chemical groups, sometimes related to time periods. To improve these groups and to subdivide them, traces elements in glass beads were analyzed by La-ICP-MS. These, including rare earth elements, characterize raw materials used in the manufacture of glass. As each European regions make beads from mineral of different sources, trace elements should be somewhat specific and therefore be of help to follow groups of beads across the American continent. First results from the archaeological site ClFi-10 show that it is possible to differentiate white beads thanks to their major chemical elements and then to subdivide them with trace elements.
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Archaeometrical study of Glass Trade Beads from the ClFi-10 site: results and their potential to investigate Amerindian exchange networks. Adelphine Bonneau, Jean-François Moreau, Ron Hancock, Réginald Auger, Bertrand Emard. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436973)
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