Tuesday, August 30

Indo-Pacific glass beads from the Indian subcontinent in Early Merovingian graves (5th–6th century AD)

this article was very interesting :), it talks about how the Merovingian graves had Indian beads, how they were manufactured, their composition, use and how they were traded. Given that we are talking about the 2 centuries after the Roman Empire crashed, its not surprising that the trade routes remained for 2 centuries afterwards although slowly dying. The authors talk about political upheavals in South India in 6th century and changes in fashion. Absolutely fascinating to see presence of Indian Manufactured goods in Europe so early in the human history. 

Peter Francis Jr. has devoted much of his research to Indo-Pacific glass beads. These productions are among the emblematic objects made by South Asian glass workshops for nearly two millennia. Despite their wide distribution, both in Asia and Africa and in the Middle East, these tiny beads have never been reported in Western Europe. They have recently been found in large numbers on funerary sites in Merovingian Gaul, dated to between the middle of the 5th and the middle of the 6th century AD (mainly in the form of necklaces or clothing ornaments). Their presence stimulates reflection on the extensive trade between the Merovingian and the Indian worlds. This contribution discusses the technological, typological and chemical characteristics of these beads, as well as their use.


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