The first European green glass beads brought to North America

Blue glass beads, made in Venice, Italy, were shipped to the Americas between 1440 and 1480, earlier than Columbus.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks announced on February 4, discovering blue glass particles the size of a blueberry in northern Alaska, including three at Punyik Point – a famous site located on the trade road Ancient Arctic Ocean to the Bering Sea. The new study is published in the American Antiquity journal.

The team found three glass particles and several plant fibers at Punyik Point during excavations in 2004 and 2005. With organic matter, they can use carbon isotopic dating thanks to accelerated mass spectrometry. to find the date of these trees.

Mike Kunz, study co-author and archaeologist at the University of Alaska’s Northern Museum, was amazed to hear the results. “The results show that these trees date back to the 1400s,” he said.

The process of analyzing objects located near the glass beads reveals some more useful information. The group of experts believe that these glass beads were brought to Punyik Point between 1440-1480. These could be the earliest European objects in America, Kunz said. Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, a little later.

Archaeologists think that it is possible that the glass beads once belonged to a necklace. They identified their origins by studying the history of glassmaking in Venice. Before that, this grain had never appeared west of the Rocky Mountains.

Venice maintained its trade with Asian civilizations in the 1400s. Blue glass beads could be brought to China via the Silk Road, then to the Russian Far East. From here, a merchant may have used a boat to carry them across the Bering Strait, then to the ancient Shashalik mall, and finally to Punyik Point.

Source: VNE

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