Journal article

Finding the Signatures of Glass Beads: A Preliminary Investigation of Indigenous Artefacts from Australia and Papua New Guinea

Lindy Allen, Sarah Babister, Elizabeth Bonshek, Rosemary Goodall

Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia | Anthropological Society of South Australia | Published : 2018


Formal analysis and testing of glass beads in Indigenous museum objects has the potential to contribute significantly to our understanding of the global economy of trade and exchange in the colonial era. The unique chemical signatures of glass and the formal characteristics of the beads are the product of specific manufacturing processes, and, as such, can offer insights as to the possible identities of manufacturers in Europe and Asia that produced glass beads on an industrial scale for colonial markets. Where and how glass beads were used by Indigenous peoples provides another essential layer of context within which to consider the global pathways of the distribution and networks of exchan..

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University of Melbourne Researchers