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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Glass Trade Beads from Two Shasta Sites in Siskiyou County, California

  • Author(s): Motz, Lee;
  • Ritter, Eric W;
  • Rock, James
  • et al.

Glass beads are found in nearly all contact-period archaeological sites in North America, and they occur in greater quantity and have a wider geographical distribution than any other artifact type. Much can be learned from the occurrence of glass beads at aboriginal sites in terms of temporal affinities, trade, status (through burial offerings or accompaniments), and aesthetics. Two protohistoric cemeteries (CA-SIS-168 and CA-SIS-837) in the Klamath Mountains of Siskiyou County, in extreme northern California, provide an opportunity to study these aspects of glass bead distribution. Also, in this examination a check and, in several cases, a refinement of the temporal position of some glass bead types is possible through cross-dating and study of bead co-occurrence. Finally, intrasite variability of a sampling of Shasta sites is examined for evidence of ethnic differences and similarities.

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