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Iron Age – glass beads

Iron Age - Glass Beads

Found in Swallowcliffe, these beads are from the Iron Age and show the innovation they had during this time, this was the first-time glass was made intentionally and not as a byproduct of other firing processes, they used natural coloring such as cobalt or copper for blues and greens.

These beads would have been worn to display wealth, as glass objects were reserved for the rich who could afford such luxuries, with unique patterns and colorings on each one, the eye pattern you see here was then popularized by the Romans and many cultures took this on as religious symbol, nicknaming it ‘the evil eye’.

They were made by winding molten glass rods around an iron rod, or placing the glass in a clay mold, these techniques are still in use today with more traditional glass makers.


by Scarlett Cardiff