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Ancient Beads: Europe

European beads have dominated the business of trade beads for the last few centuries. Yet, there is little information on the older beads of Europe, at least in the USA

I should explain. There is a great deal of information on ancient beads in Europe, chiefly because of women bead researchers. Aside from the language barrier (much of it is published in German or a Slavic language), most writers on beads in the USA base their conclusions on private collections.

So what? Well, private collections mostly consist of beads bought on the antiquities market. Most of these have been looted form archaeological sites, these days usually illegally. There are good reasons why this is illegal and unethical. Since Europeans do not loot their own sites, their beads are not on the market and American collectors and most writers are unaware of them.

However, their story is rich. On The Bead Site the story of ancient European glass beads is told and a gallery of the beads is offered. Another page shows common Etruscan and Roman charms.

If you have an interest in European beads or want to communicate with Europeans about beads you should join the Euro (now World) Bead Chain here.

We have a wide selection of excellent books on

European beads.


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