Early medieval large glass beads from Poland: utilitarian and social functions
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Copyright (c) 2020 Aleksandra Pankiewicz, Sylwia Siemianowska
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The study focuses on the early medieval large glass beads from the area of Poland, i.e. specimens whose diameter equals at least 1.5 cm but usually ca. 2 cm or more. The main aim of this study is to define their function, considering the precise context of discovery of particular specimens, metric data and microscopic analyses. Another important task of the study is to determine whether large beads were local products or imports, and from which region and in what social circumstances they reached the studied area. Alongside macroscopic and stylistic features, the chemical composition of glass that was used for the production of the beads can be conclusive in this situation. In our opinion, it is a special category of finds that appeared in this part of Europe during the time of cultural and political transformation in the 11th–13th centuries.