The Chickasaw Nation
Present day site of Tchichatala De Crenay 1733, The Territory Between the Chattahoochee and Mississippi Rivers Woodcut Bust of a Chickasaw Warrior by Bernard Romans
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Glass Trade Beads
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Database Fields: Artifacts

Database Fields: Glass Beads

Glass Bead Descriptions

Glass Bead Database

Glass Bead Sequence
A Beginning

Major Bead Types/Varieties
Glass Bead Chronology - Start/Finish

Glass Bead Sequence
Major Bead Fields

Glass Bead Sequence
Minor Bead Fields

Glass Bead Sequence
Major & Minor Glass Bead Fields

Glass Bead Chronology
An End, A Beginning

Glass Bead Chronology
Dating

Other Artifacts - Dating

Beads as Heirlooms

Bead Dating Conclusions

Other Factors
Appreciation

Paper 2 Figures

Paper 2 Tables

Paper 2 References


Database Fields: Artifacts

The database fields contain not only information relative to glass trade beads, but also other associated feature artifacts. The database includes four fields for shell artifacts, including discs, beads, ear pins and wampum. The decision to associate shell artifacts with the glass beads may provide comparison to other late seventeenth and/or early eighteenth century sites in the southeastern United States.

Shell discs may be described as relatively flat flans with rounded or sub-rounded surfaces which have at least one hole running perpendicular (a few are perpendicular) to the flat surfaces. Most of these discs were made from conch shells, which had been rubbed smooth. The disc average is 30-50 mm in maximum measurement on the flat side; some are smaller than 20 and others as large as 100mm. The flan widths typically are 2 to 3 mm. All surfaces were polished smooth with the outside edges rounded. Small glass beads normally filled the holes.

Shell beads consisted of conch or dentalium shell with the conch dominating. The shell bead is distinguished from the disc in that the length, parallel drilled axis, is much longer than the width, which is perpendicular to the drilled axis. The dentalium beads normally exceed 20mm while the conch beads normally exceed 50mm in length. The ends of both were ground and the outside surfaces typically polished. Most of these beads exhibit a single, centered hole in the cross-section.

Shell wampum represents uniformly sized small cylinder beads. Most are a polished shell tube that may be 2mm in diameter with lengths of about 4 to 6mm. A single, centered hole perforates the length of the bead. Wampum trade included belts or strings of beads. The literature describes wampum as either white or purple (SCIA 1752 253).

Produced from the columella of the conch shell, the ear pins normally exhibit a bulbous top that tapers down a shaft to a rounded, if not pointed, terminus. The ear pins were found in pairs of near equal lengths. Lengths vary from 25 to 200mm with most 60-70 mm. The shell ear pins inspected were not holed.

Another ornament recorded in the database fields is the brass circular gorget. Brass gorgets appear to be a widely distributed ornamentation in the southeastern United States. Brass circular gorgets may have a mid 17th century context.

Major, datable silver ornaments were noted in a database field. These objects, including crosses, gorgets, brooches, armbands, crowns and wristbands, are datable by hallmarks. The silver ornaments include a few objects with English origins from the 1760s and a few with American origins dating to the 1790s; most of the ornaments are Canadian in origin from the 1780s. Spanish real (most denominations one or eight real) bearing Mexico City mints were included in this field with dates ranging from the late 1760s to the early 1790s.

Village zone locations were recorded on the database for each feature. The zone locations include twenty-eight geographic regions distributed over the village areas, indicating the relative location of the feature. This information will be used in Paper 3.