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Venetian Beads from 16th Century found in Alaska


Doc Reeves
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Meaning there were well established trade routs to North America a century befor Columbus landed. 


History is replete with problematic—and even factually incorrect—narratives. For example, Columbus did not discover America—if one can even “discover” lands where millions of people already lived. Columbus is not even thought to be the first European to land on the continent. Archeological evidence has shown Norse Viking settlements existed in Newfoundland as early as 1000 CE. As history books move on from simplistic narratives of Europe discovering the Americas, new and exciting archeological finds attest to global networks of trade which pre-date Columbus' arrival in 1492. A new report published in the journal American Antiquity details the finding of Venetian glass beads from the mid-15th century at archeological sites in Alaska.

Authored by Michael L. Kunz and Robin O. Mills, the paper reports that Venetian blue glass “trade beads” were found at three Late Prehistoric Eskimo sites within the Arctic Circle. Trade beads were glass beads frequently used by European traders in the Atlantic world during the 16th to 18th centuries. Indigenous peoples in the Americas did not have the material glass, so the beads were considered valuable trade items. As the glass capital of Europe, many such beads were produced in Venice—known as Murano glass. While the researchers were excited to find the beads, their true meaning only became apparent after running scientific tests.

The beads were found among other items including copper jewelry. One item found in the cache of objects was twine made of an organic material that may be willow bark. This twine offered a unique opportunity. The researchers had heard of beads discovered at the sites decades earlier, but earlier scholars did not have the technology to date organic material with accuracy. The newly found twine was tested with accelerator mass spectrometry carbon-dating. Carbon-dating judges the age of an organic object by measuring the level of decay of the radioactive element carbon-14. The results of the tested twine were shocking: the material had probably wrapped up the jewelry sometime between 1440 and 1480. As Columbus did not arrive in the Bahamas until 1492, this discovery indicated a pre-existing trade relationship connecting Europe and the Americas.

The beads are the only examples of their kind west of the Rocky Mountains. This fact and their early date suggested to researchers, according to the paper, that “the most likely route these beads traveled from Europe to northwestern Alaska is across Eurasia and over the Bering Strait.” In a statement from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the likely path of the beads from Venice to Alaska is laid out.

Italian traders on the late-medieval Mediterranean frequently traded with late Byzantine and early Ottoman traders, who took European products eastward. From there, goods traveled both directions on the famous Silk Road—an ancient trade route between the Mediterranean and East Asia. The beads likely traveled by caravan towards China, eventually passing through traders to the people of what is now Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, a federal subject area of Russia. From here, the beads must have crossed the Bering Strait by boat—a journey of only a little more than 50 miles

Researchers discovered Venetian glass beads in Alaska which date to the mid-15th century, decades before Columbus arrived in the Bahamas.

Bronze Jewelry Alaska Silk Road trade Early Americas

Copper jewelry found near some of the Venetian glass beads at Punyik Point. (Photo: M.L. Kunz et al., American Antiquity, 2021)

The beads were dated using the carbon-dating of a piece of organic twine wrapped around some copper jewelry found with the beads.

Silk Road Route

Some of the routes considered part of the Silk Road network. (Photo: Kelvin Case via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0])

The beads likely traveled along the Silk Road from Venice to what is now the far eastern corner of Russia, where they then were traded by ship across the Bering Strait.

73BD4CBB-A5F0-493C-BC78-FE63935EEF4C.jpeg

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Very interesting discovery. And no telling what lost archeological sites are located under hundreds of feet of ocean now covering the continental shelf “land bridge” between Siberia & Alaska.

Yes, those Brits & Europeans have an easier & richer opportunity with digging around, as their areas were more heavily populated over the past few millennia with cultures that produced more material goods and infrastructure.
Back in the 1950s we were taught that the Vikings were the first Europeans to come to North America, but that Columbus should get “credit” for opening the Americas to European exploitation.

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1 hour ago, Armybrat said:

Very interesting discovery. And no telling what lost archeological sites are located under hundreds of feet of ocean now covering the continental shelf “land bridge” between Siberia & Alaska.

Yes, those Brits & Europeans have an easier & richer opportunity with digging around, as their areas were more heavily populated over the past few millennia with cultures that produced more material goods and infrastructure.
Back in the 1950s we were taught that the Vikings were the first Europeans to come to North America, but that Columbus should get “credit” for opening the Americas to European exploitation.

Columbus did discover the trade winds if I remember correctly. For all the fucked up things he was, he was one of the great navigators of the old world.

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On 2/14/2021 at 12:25 AM, atomheartbevo said:

You don't have to be uber wealthy.

Just be in England somewhere.

bedf52fc2b21d7b3cf717cd84b7f006a.jpg

 

Done that for years digging for civil war relics along the old roads between Richmond, and Hampton, Va. I'm talking about whole cities that have been buried, and lost, tombs, Shrines, etc.

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33 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:


There’s an Instagram account I follow that’s a lady in London who’s a mudlarker...someone who just hunts for shit along the Thames riverbank. It’s crazy how often she finds interesting stuff.

https://instagram.com/mudika.thames


Seems they’re always finding ordinance and shit from the WW’s along there too. Can’t remember which time, but one of the times I was in London in ‘18 they found another round of some type of ordinance in the river.

Then there’s the guy that found some big ass horde of really old stuff (what and who escapes me at the moment) when searching a field for something else. Ended up being the largest cache of whatever type found at the time. 
 

 

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The beads were found among other items including copper jewelry. One item found in the cache of objects was twine made of an organic material that may be willow bark. This twine offered a unique opportunity. The researchers had heard of beads discovered at the sites decades earlier, but earlier scholars did not have the technology to date organic material with accuracy. The newly found twine was tested with accelerator mass spectrometry carbon-dating. Carbon-dating judges the age of an organic object by measuring the level of decay of the radioactive element carbon-14. The results of the tested twine were shocking:

Let me guess - twine dna matched Army Brats ass? nttawwt
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