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The Santa Fe Trail Trade Bead Collection

Venetian Glass Trade Beads

The earliest known glass bead production was at Tel El Amarna in upper Egypt, dating to the 18th Dynasty. This technology passed to Mesopotamia and eventually to Venice, where, by the 14th century, the Venetian craftsmen had mastered the old designs of Egypt and Mesopotamia. European explorers, including Columbus, Cortez, and Vasco de Gama, took kilos of these brilliantly-colored beads everywhere they went to trade with the indigenous peoples of the world. Native people loved these beads, and they were used for currency and body d├ęcor.

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Photo of The Lapis Trade Bead Necklace Kit The Lapis Trade Bead Necklace Kit

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