Olivella shell beads are ubiquitous at Central California Indian sites and were traded far inland by the local inhabitants. Their distinctive patterns of manufacture provide archaeologists with important chronological, morphological, and distributional information. This guide—authored by a professional artifact replicator and an archaeological expert on shell bead typology-- offers a well developed 16-category typology, including the descriptive, temporal, and metric characteristics of each style, illustrated with almost 200 color photographs. Spiral bound to facilitate field and laboratory work, it is an essential tool for conducting archaeology in the American west. Sponsored by the Society for California Archaeology and Pacific Legacy, Inc.
The Archaeology of Beads, Beadwork, and Personal Ornaments
Author: Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer
Category: Social Science
Beads, beadwork, and personal ornaments are made of diverse materials such as shell, bone, stones, minerals, and composite materials. Their exploration from geographical and chronological settings around the world offers a glimpse at some of the cutting edge research within the fast growing field of personal ornaments in humanities’ past. Recent studies are based on a variety of analytical procedures that highlight humankind’s technological advances, exchange networks, mortuary practices, and symbol-laden beliefs. Papers discuss the social narratives behind bead and beadwork manufacture, use and disposal; the way beads work visually, audibly and even tactilely to cue wearers and audience to their social message(s). Understanding the entangled social and technical aspects of beads require a broad spectrum of technical and methodological approaches including the identification of the sources for the raw material of beads. These scientific approaches are also combined in some instances with experimentation to clarify the manner in which beads were produced and used in past societies.
Recent archaeological research on California includes a greater diversity of models and approaches to the region’s past, as older literature on the subject struggles to stay relevant. This comprehensive volume offers an in-depth look at the most recent theoretical and empirical developments in the field including key controversies relevant to the Golden State: coastal colonization, impacts of comets and drought cycles, systems of power, Polynesian contacts, and the role of indigenous peoples in the research process, among others. With a specific emphasis on those aspects of California’s past that resonate with the state’s modern cultural identity, the editors and contributors—all leading figures in California archaeology—seek a new understanding of the myth and mystique of the Golden State.
Provides the amateur with all necessary information on and essential instruction in the techniques and purposes of archaeological fieldwork, emphasizing the preservation of evidence in even the smallest site