A Bead in Hand

Temperatures are heating up, and so are things out in the field. We are still encountering many features at the 18th century slave quarter site, and we’re anxious to uncover what they all mean! We’ve had lots of great volunteers and hope to see more of you as the season draws to a close. Our most exciting artifact from this past week is a glass bead known as a Cornaline d’Aleppo, named after a town in Syria. This beautifully crafted item has an opaque red exterior over a clear green center, and is approximately 1 cm long. It was discovered on the west side of the slave quarter area. Hardly any beads have been found at this site, so we were very excited when it turned up in the screen! These beads are thought to be of French or Venetian origin. One reference book says that these beads were traded at a rate of 6 beads for one beaver pelt, and were sometimes referred to as Hudson Bay Beads. Cornaline d’Aleppo beads were common from the late 17th century through the 18thcentury, which fits the timeline of our site.

Glass bead found at Smith St. Leonard site


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