Not Just for Show: The Archaeology of Beads, Beadwork and Personal Ornaments [Hardback]

Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer (Editor); Clive Bonsall (Editor); Alice M. Choyke (Editor)

ISBN: 9781785706929 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 224p, H280 x W220 (mm) b/w and colour

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Not Just for Show


Beads, beadwork, and personal ornaments are made of diverse materials such as shell, bone, stones, minerals, and composite materials. Their exploration from geographical and chronological settings around the world offers a glimpse at some of the cutting edge research within the fast growing field of personal ornaments in humanities’ past. Recent studies are based on a variety of analytical procedures that highlight humankind’s technological advances, exchange networks, mortuary practices, and symbol-laden beliefs. Papers discuss the social narratives behind bead and beadwork manufacture, use and disposal; the way beads work visually, audibly and even tactilely to cue wearers and audience to their social message(s). Understanding the entangled social and technical aspects of beads require a broad spectrum of technical and methodological approaches including the identification of the sources for the raw material of beads. These scientific approaches are also combined in some instances with experimentation to clarify the manner in which beads were produced and used in past societies.

Table of Contents

1: The archaeology of beads, beadwork and personal ornaments.
Alice M. Choyke and Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer
2. Traditions and change in scaphopod shell beads in northern Australia from the Pleistocene to the recent past.
Jane Balme and Sue O'Connor
3. Magdalenian “beadwork time” in the Paris Basin (France): correlation between personal ornaments and the function of archaeological sites.
Caroline Peschaux, Grégory Debout, Olivier Bignon-Lau And Pierre Bodu
4. Personal adornment and personhood among the Last Mesolithic foragers of the Danube Gorges in the Central Balkans and beyond.
Emanuela Cristiani and Dušan Borić
5. Ornamental Shell Beads as Markers of Exchange in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Southern Levant.
Ashton Spatz
6. Games, Exchange, and Stone: hunter-gatherer beads at home.
Emily Mueller Epstein
7. The Natufian audio-visual bone pendants from Hayonim Cave.
Dana Shaham and Anna Belfer-Cohen
8. Bead Biographies from Neolithic Burial Contexts: Contributions from the Microscope.
Annelou van Gijn
9. The Tutankhamun Beadwork, an Introduction to Archaeological Beadwork Analysis.
Jolanda E. M. F. Bos
10. A Mother-of-Pearl Shell Pendant from Nexpa, Morelos.
Adrián Velázquez-Castro, Patricia Ochoa-Castillo, Norma Valentín-Maldonado, Belem Zúñiga-Arellano
11. Detailing the bead maker: Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) of steatite disk beads from prehistoric Napa Valley, California.
Tsim D. Schneider and Lori D. Hager
12. Exploring Manufacturing Traces and Social Organization using Prehistoric Mortuary Beads in the Salish Sea Region of the Northwest Coast of North America.
David Bilton and Danielle A. Macdonald

Reviews & Quotes

"Covering a wide range of topics, Not Just for Show will be a valuable addition to the research library of anyone interested in beads and beadwork. Available in hard cover as well as an ebook, it is highly recommended. "
Karlis Karklins
BEADS (11/12/2018)

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