Personal ornaments: changing identities in the Dutch Neolithic and Bronze Age
Numerous beads and pendants of amber, jet and bone have been found in Dutch Neolithic and Bronze Age context, both in settlements and in graves. Because ornaments are personal items, they are closely linked with people’s identity.
In a long-term research project, encompassing student projects, hundreds of beads from settlement and funerary context are subjected to a detailed technological and functional study. By means of experimentation, low- and high-power microscopy and micro CT scanning, production methods and sequences could be reconstructed. Microscopic analysis also revealed evidence for the method of fastening, the extent of wear and for repair or remodelling.
Making beads yourself
In order to better understand the traces of manufacture seen on beads and pendants, experiments were carried out with shaping, grinding and perforating beads of amber and jet.