This map includes the general location of the artefacts shown below, as well as those listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronological Framework database. The same database provided the archaeological drawing of this bead type.

In Glass Beads from Anglo-Saxon Graves, Birte Brugmann has analyzed various bead types, to create a matrix that allows one to use the beads in a grave to help date the overall grave. This one particular bead was selected because it is not overly complex, but also dated to a fairly tight time-span, 555-650. That way, using a reproduction of this bead can help focus your overall look.

This type of bead is defined by Brugmann, 2004, pg 81, as Dot34, a wound bead; diameter of perforation 2-7mm; shape – short to medium globular or barrel-shaped, circular cross-section; diameter of body 10-20mm; white, with applied simple trails of translucent blue, and red dots. Major distribution in Suffolk & Norfolk – Anglia. I searched for specific examples of the type, and discovered that they are generally divided into a small and large size.  The larger beads have 6-9 dots, each of 2-5mm diameter, on a bead of 12-18mm diameter, and 10-13mm height. The mandrel hole diameter is 3-5mm. The smaller beads have 4-8 dots each of 1-2mm diameter, on a bead of 9-10mm diameter, and 7mm height. This generally has two separate trails of color, crossing in a lattice form.

Of course, most bead assemblages are primarily monochromatic beads. But the Dot34 type is a good one to add, as it is relatively common. To represent the most common use, the base bead color should be white, with blue trails, and red dots. However there are other color options known in period. It would be a good bead for making use of SCA heraldry. Mistress Dorcas Whitecap commissioned this style of bead in white with a green trail, for her heraldic colors, with red dots to symbolize her pelican status, and gives these away as tokens of appreciation. (or did, until she ran out.)

Here is a sample of artefact images and details.

lin8533
Site: Alford, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire
Period: Saxon
Source: Finds Database
Catalogue entry: An Anglo-Saxon polychrome bead. The bead is bun shaped with a small hole through the centre. The bead is cream coloured and decorated with two overlapping wavey lines of green colour that create three cells. Each cell contains a red dot. Height 8mm, diameter 10mm.
Analysis: Dots about 3mm in diameter

cac027beadSite: Carlton Colville Bypass, Suffolk
Period: Saxon
Source: Spoilheap Archaeology
Catalogue entry: Coloured glass bead with blue wavy-line trails around red dots. Broken – half only, 18mm diameter. Early Saxon
Analysis: Appears to have 7 or 8 dots around complete bead. Height 13mm. Dots 2-3mm diameter.
klmd20may20072001

Site: Soham, East Cambridgeshire
Period: Saxon
Source: Finds Database
Catalogue entry: Metal detector find, opaque white with light blue crossed waves and red dots. Height 10mm, diameter 15mm, Guido type 3iiic. Height 10mm, diameter 15mm.
Analysis: Appears to have 9 dots around complete bead. Hole diameter 4mm. Dots 2mm diameter.

 

1934-226-bead-string-g85-abSite: Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Period:
Saxon
Source:
Ashmolean Museum
Catalogue entry:
Grave 85.  AN1934.226
Analysis:  Double trails to create lattice – dots centered around bead. Appears to have 6 to 8 dots around complete bead. Height 12mm, diameter 17mm. Dots 2-4mm.

1921-1119-beads
Site:
Standlake, Oxfordshire
Period:
Saxon
Source:
Ashmolean Museum
Catalogue entry:
Grave 19. AN1921.1119
Analysis:   There are a number of these beads with blue lattice and red dots in this necklace, which are of several different sizes as well as several beads with the same design, but brownish-red rather than blue lattice. The larger beads seem to have 6 to 9 dots. 1st left of center is 16mm diameter, height 10-11mm, hole diameter 3-5mm, dots 3-4mm. 2nd left of center is 13mm diameter, 13mm height, and 2-3mm diameter dots, but with brownishred lattice rather than blue. The 2nd right of center appears to be a degraded match, approx dimensions 16mm diameter, hole diameter 5mm, and height 10mm. 1st right of center is 14mm diameter, height 9-11mm, dots 2-3mm. The smaller have 4 to 8 dots. The two at the left end of the string, are both 8mm diameter, and 5-6mm in height, with dots of 1-2mm diameter. The other two are 10mm diameter by 7mm height, and 9mm diameter by 7mm height. These last two beads may not have dots inside the blue lattice. Bead shapes with this design are globular, annular, and barrel-shaped (reddish lattice)
.

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