Experimental replication of stone, bone and shell beads from Early Neolithic sites in Southeast Europe

Maria Gurova, Clive Bonsall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Flat disk beads made from a wide variety of biominerals, minerals and other stones are widely distributed on Early Neolithic sites throughout the Balkans. Replicative experiments indicate that hardness was a critical factor affecting drilling times and,presumably, the choice of materials for bead production. Using a pump drill and schist grindstone it was found that beads could be manufactured relatively easily from materials of less than 5 on Mohs hardness scale; materials harder than 5.5 either proved very difficult to drill or were not drilled successfully. The experiments suggest that, while some beads and necklaces were evidently specialist products, bead making could have been a normal household activity among early farming communities in Southeast Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNot Just for Show
Subtitle of host publicationThe Archaeology of Beads, Beadwork and Personal Ornaments
EditorsDaniella Bar-Yosef Mayer, Clive Bonsall, Alice M. Choyke
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Books
Number of pages224
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781785706950
ISBN (Print)9781785706936
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • experimental drilling
  • beads
  • Early Neolithic
  • Southeast Europe

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