Jade and the Illusion of Jade: Gokok and Magatama in Korea and Japan from 250–700CE

Author(s): Lauren Glover

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Two Approaches to Archaeological Jades: Source Characterization and Social Valuation" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Ritual stone ornaments (gokok and magatama) found in elite burials in Korea and Japan were examined to determine raw material and manufacturing process as well as use life. The primary materials examined were hard jadeite and nephrite, though softer stones such as alabaster/gypsum, amblygonite and hydrogrossular were sometimes used. When new, these softer stones would have resembled jadeite/nephrite. Such colored stone beads made of precious materials, or what was perceived to be precious materials, were integral to the ritual and political life of elites in both regions. Both quantitative and qualitative documentation was undertaken, including bead shape, size, manufacturing indicators and use wear. Scanning Electron Microscope analysis of drill hole impressions was used to differentiate drilling techniques and the degree of string wear. Many of the beads showed heavy string wear and abrasion indicating long periods of use before final deposition. Drill shape analysis indicates two major workshop traditions, one associated with Japan and one with Korea, utilizing different shaped drills and abrasives as well as drilling chaîne opératoire. Decorative incised lines are sometimes found around the perforation hole of the beads; comparative analysis of their production and distribution will be presented.

Cite this Record

Jade and the Illusion of Jade: Gokok and Magatama in Korea and Japan from 250–700CE. Lauren Glover. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450737)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 70.4; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: 146.514; max lat: 53.956 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22873