LANCUM-517458: Blue glass melon bead

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: LANCUM-517458

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Blue glass bead dating from the early Roman period, i.e. AD 43-200. It is a melon type bead made from dark blue translucent glass. The perforation is circular and the outside decorated with vertical grooves. The cross-section is floral. It is in very good condition. Crummy writes: "These beads [=melon beads] are found in 1st and 2nd century contexts and seem, on the evidence from our catalogue, to have been introduced into this country at the conquest. There is some slight indication that the smaller the bead the earlier it is. Most are made from turquoise frit, which often decays to white." Crummy publishes only one example made from dark blue glass (fig.32, no. 524). (Crummy 1983, 30+32).

Justine Bayley (via email) adds that the bright blue colour means the glass is coloured (mainly) by traces of cobalt and that you also, rather more frequently, get melon beads that are made of faience rather than glass. They typically have a turquoise glazed surface (coloured by minor amounts of copper) but underneath this is a buff-coloured matrix which is silica fused together with a small amount of alkali - sort of part- made glass.

NB: The image of the bead was taken by the finder and emailed to the local FLO. The copyright remains with the finder.

Class: Melon

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: ROMAN
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 26.9 mm
Height: 18 mm
Diameter: 26.9 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 7th May 2011

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Dot Boughton
Identified by: Dr Dot Boughton
Secondary identifier: Mr Tim Padley

Materials and construction

Primary material: Glass
Manufacture method: Hand made
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cumbria (County)
District: Carlisle (District)
To be known as: Brampton

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Controlled archaeological investigation
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LANCUM
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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