Ref. Number: 1064

Country: Thailand

Material: Glass

Indo-Pacific trade beads

For many years, beads have been charming and attractive enough for both old and new collectors. It is the starting point for people who are interested in the origin of beads and the progress of all human societies in the world. Beads have been a human creation as far back as a thousand years ago in the prehistoric period. When humans began to live together in communities, they created permanent residences, and began cultivating crops and animal farms. Eventually, people sailed across the ocean to trade with other communities. It was believed they used beads as money in exchange for goods.

Bead-making is one of the most world oldest crafts. The first beads were made from seeds, shell, animal teeth, claws and bone. Later clay, stone, wax, resin, glass and metal were used. Stones used for making beads included agate, chalcedony, beryl, jasper, quartz, carnelian, amethyst, crystal, jade and granite. The oldest carnelian beads from the Royal Graves of Ur in Mesopotamia date to 2500 BC. In India, carnelian beads were produced on a large scale from about 1500 BC. Beads play a significant role in researching the formation of early human cultures. They were extremely valued objects, not only during a person’s lifetime, but even after death as beads had been found as part of the grave offerings in some early burials.

These beads found in Thailand can be categories as an Indo Pacific Beads or generally known as monochrome glass bead. These beads are made from glass and composed of many different elements. Glassmaking was traditionally an art, not a science, and early glassmakers did not have an ability to purify their ingredients completely.

See article from the: European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 10, Number 4 (2009)
Beads Trade in Peninsula Malaysia: Based on Archaeological Evidences

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