Glass Beads from Early Anglo-Saxon Graves: A Study on the Provenance and Chronology of Glass Beads from Early Anglo-Saxon Graves, Based on Visual Examination
Beads made of amber and glass are the most common type of object found in Anglo-Saxon graves, yet relatively little is known about them. In this well illustrated study, Birte Brugmann analyses a sample of 32,000 beads from graves of the 5th to 7th centuries. She creates a new typology of Anglo-Saxon glass bead types, taking into consideration materials, manufacturing techniques, decoration, colours and shapes of beads. She considers questions of bead production and bead fashion across Anglo-Saxon regions, how far they were influenced by continental and Scandinavian bead fashions, and offers a chronological framework for the Anglo-Saxon finds. Her distribution analysis suggests that some of the beads were manufactured in England, while others were imported from or via the continent. Brugmann concludes that differences in regional Anglo-Saxon bead fashions were not as pronounced as differences in contemporary brooch fashion, and that the beads therefore can contribute to a cross-regional phasing of Anglo-Saxon graves.
A chronological framework