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Elemental Analysis of Glass Beads from Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: A Preliminary Social Network Approach to Exploring Community

Lecture: ARF Brownbag | January 23 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

Elliot Blair, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Archaeological Research Facility

In this presentation I discuss the circulation of 17th-century trade beads from a multi-scalar perspective, examining intersecting networks of manufacture, distribution, acquisition, and deposition. Specifically considering the bead assemblage excavated from Mission Santa Catalina de Guale, a Spanish Mission located on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, I will examine the temporal and regional patterns of glass elemental signatures (utilizing x-ray fluorescence spectrometry), along with historical documents and bead morphological data, which trace temporal and regional distributional patterns of beads into the Americas. I will conclude the paper by presenting a preliminary network model that links the global circulation of trade beads with inter-personal social relationships within a diverse colonial community.

Elliot Blair is a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley. His research looks at issues of community and identity in the 17th-century Spanish colonial Southeastern United States.