Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Black Glass on the Georgia Coast: The Utility of Black Glass Trade Beads in Refining Site Chronology and Detecting Color Preference at Seventeenth Century Mission Santa Catalina de Guale
by Templin, Robert B., III, M.A., The University of Alabama, 2017, 125; 10622913
Abstract (Summary)

Historical and archaeological research has established that European glass beads are high-resolution temporal markers for colonial sites in North America. Additionally, recent studies have demonstrated that compositional analyses of certain bead types can refine the chronological resolution of these artifacts. This study contributes to this growing body of knowledge by extending these methods to drawn beads manufactured from black glass. Using X- ray fluorescence spectrometry and a sample of simple black glass trade beads (n = 940) recovered from the cemetery of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale (St. Catherines Island, Georgia), I identify diachronic patterns in the recipes that guided their manufacture during the seventeenth century. The concentrations of temporally diagnostic opacifiers (i.e., tin [Sn] and antimony [Sb]) found within beads assemblages from individual contexts are then used to refine the existing site chronology and contribute to ongoing studies of the occupation and use of the mission. I argue that the seventeenth century mission complex was built during multiple stages of construction separated by decades. Furthermore, relative dates for a number of burial contexts have been proposed, which provide insight into diachronic variation in indigenous Guale burial practices. In this study, I specifically address differences in color patterning between the newly dated burial contexts as a means of identifying and comparing the preferential consumption of five culturally salient bead colors and their relationship to indigenous identities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Blair, Elliot H.
Commitee: Jacobi, Keith, Odle, Mairin, Oths, Kathryn
School: The University of Alabama
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: MAI 57/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Native American studies
Keywords: 17th century La Florida, Archaeology of colonialism, Glass beads, Guale, Spanish missions, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry
Publication Number: 10622913
ISBN: 978-0-355-67064-6
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