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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


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For citations:

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

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)