Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

Advanced search


Full Text:


Over 12 thousand glass beads have been excavated from medieval burials at Gnezdovo. Most fall in nine technological groups similar to those in a collection from the earthen ramparts of Staraya Ladoga. At Gnezdovo, however, hitherto unknown types were found, such as those represented by isolated specimens formed from lumps of molten glass. A few beads appear to have been made on a mold; those with transverse striation had been welded from several pieces. The latter resemble Greek and Roman era specimens from the Northern Pontic region. For the fi rst time in Old Rus, glass beads with a copper pipe are described. This is a rare technique, also practiced in Central Europe. Numerous specimens from Gnezdovo are two-layered, others are made from a pipe, from a rod, mosaic, or curled. Some experts argued that the use of pipe as a core is motivated by the economy of paste of which beads were made. Pipe cores in cobalt beads might facilitate shaping. Since cobalt-colored beads and bracelets were popular in AD 800–1100, economy cannot provide a universal explanation. The fact that other materials, such as copper and ceramics, were also used is another proof thereof. Generally, such beads are rare not only in Gnezdovo but elsewhere in Kievan Rus as well.

About the Author

O. P. Dobrova
Paleoethnology Research Center
Russian Federation
Novaya pl. 12, bldg. 5, Moscow, 109012


1. Alekseeva E.M. 1978 Antichniye busy Severnogo Prichernomorya. Moscow: Nauka. (SAI; iss. G1-12).

2. Bezborodov M.A. 1959 Tekhnologiya proizvodstva steklyannykh bus v drevnosti. Trudy GIM, iss. 33: 225–232.

3. Dobrova O.P. 2017 Busy s mednymi i keramicheskimi trubochkami. Stratum plus, No. 5: 307–310.

4. Frenkel Y.V. 2007 Opyt datirovaniya poimennoy chasti Gnezdovskogo poseleniya na osnovanii analiza kollektsii steklyannykh i kamennykh bus (po materialam raskopok 1999–2003 gg.). In Gnezdovo: Rezultaty kompleksnykh issledovaniy pamyatnika. Moscow: Alfaret, pp. 78–117.

5. Frey A., Greiff S. 2009 Early medieval glass beads with metal tubes. In Annales du 18-e congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre. Thessaloniki: Ziti Publishing, pp. 373–378.

6. Galibin V.A. 2001 Sostav stekla kak arkheologichekiy istochnik. St. Petersburg: Peterburg. Vostokovedeniye. Lvova Z.A. 1959 Steklyanniye braslety i busy iz Sarkela-Beloy Vezhi. MIA, No. 75: 307–332.

7. Lvova Z.A. 1962 Tekhnologicheskaya klassifikatsiya vostochnoyevropeiskikh steklyannykh brasletov rannego srednevekovya. SGE, iss. 23: 12–14.

8. Lvova Z.A. 1968 Steklyanniye busy Staroy Ladogi. Pt. I: Sposoby izgotovleniya, areal, vremya rasprostraneniya. ASGE, iss. 10: 64–94.

9. Lvova Z.A. 1970 Steklyanniye busy Staroy Ladogi. Pt. II: Proiskhozhdeniye bus. ASGE, iss. 12: 89–111.

10. Lvova Z.A. 1979 Tekhnologicheskaya klassifi katsiya izdeliy iz stekla. ASGE, iss. 20: 90–103.

11. Lvova Z.A. 1980 Priznaki sposoba izgotovleniya izdeliy iz stekla (po materialam rannesrednevekovykh steklyannykh ukrasheniy). ASGE, iss. 21: 75–85.

12. Lvova Z.A. 1983 Tipologizatsiya po tekhnologicheskomu osnovaniyu steklyannykh bus Varninskogo mogilnika kak osnova ikh otnositelnoy i absolyutnoy datirovki. ASGE, iss. 24: 90–110.

13. Lvova Z.A. 1989 Tipologizatsiya po tekhnologicheskomu osnovaniyu steklyannykh bus severa Vostochnoy Yevropy VIII–X vv. kak metod issledovaniya. In Glass’ 89: XV Intern. Congr. on Glass, Leningrad, 2–7 July 1989: Proc.: Archaeometry. Leningrad: Nauka, pp. 63–69.

14. Rumyantseva O.S. 2005 Busy Nikitinskogo mogilnika. In Voronina R.F., Zelentsova O.V., Engovatova A.V. Nikitinskiy mogilnik: Publikatsii materialov raskopok 1977–1978 gg. App. 3. Moscow: IA RAN, pp. 127–140. (Trudy otd. okhrannykh raskopok IA RAN; vol. 3).

For citation:

Dobrova O.P. THE TECHNOLOGY OF MANUFACTURING GLASS BEADS AT GNEZDOVO, SMOLENSK REGION. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2018;46(2):100-105. (In Russ.)

Views: 136

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)