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Title: Early Anglo-Saxon glass beads : composition and origins based on the finds from RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk
Author: Peake, James Robert Nicholas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 8669
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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This study reports upon the compositional analysis of early Anglo-Saxon (5th-7th centuries AD) glass beads from the cemetery complex at RAF Lakenheath (Eriswell), Suffolk. Major element analysis was undertaken using energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry in the scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDS) on 537 samples from a total of 380 monochrome and polychrome beads. Trace element analysis was undertaken by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LAICP- MS) on 75 different samples from 65 of these beads. SEM-EDS analyses are also reported for a small number of glass beads from the early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries at Spong Hill, Bergh Apton and Morning Thorpe in Norfolk. The beads analysed were produced from soda-lime-silica glass, which was originally made in the Near East from a mixture of a natron and calcareous quartz-rich sand. They have been grouped and compared according to the base glass types represented and their colourant technology. These groups have been systematically compared to a well-established typology and chronology for these beads. The results demonstrate that the Anglo-Saxon glass bead industry was dependent upon the recycling of Roman material during the 5th and 6th centuries, but there is no evidence to suggest continuity in the glass industry from the preceding Roman period. Imported bead types were probably manufactured using a fresh supply of raw glass imported from the Near East. At some point in the latter half of the 6th century there appears to have been a drastic and rapid change in beadmaking practices. The Anglo-Saxon beadmaking industry in England appears to have largely collapsed, except for the production of a few crude bead types produced in the 7th century. Imported bead types come to dominate, but natron glass appears to have been in short supply by this time;
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC Archaeology