The Blown Glass Beads of Garden Bay, British Columbia

Author(s): Stephanie Halmhofer

Year: 2018


In May 2015, a disturbed burial was uncovered in Garden Bay, British Columbia, within close proximity to the large shíshálh village site of Sexwamin (DjSa-3). Found in association with the burial were 244 intact smooth, unadorned mold-blown (SUMB) glass beads and 40 SUMB glass bead fragments. Due to their extremely fragile nature, blown glass beads are rare in archaeological contexts and the beads from Garden Bay are from one of only five sites in North America where SUMB glass beads have been found. The beads from Sexwamin are: 1) the first of their kind found in British Columbia, 2) first of their kind reported in Canada, 3) the first of their kind found in a mortuary context, and 4) the largest collection from the five North American sites. These beads were likely manufactured during the late 19th century in the western region of the Czech Republic formerly known as Bohemia, which by this time had become the world-leader in blown-glass bead manufacture and exportation. This presentation will discuss this unique style of glass bead and what they might begin to tell us about Sexwamin.

Cite this Record

The Blown Glass Beads of Garden Bay, British Columbia. Stephanie Halmhofer. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443104)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18741