Northeast Historical Archaeology


An assemblage of 445 archaeological glass trade beads excavated from Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York in 2007 were analyzed to determine their manufacturing technology and elemental composition. Analytical techniques included reflected light microscopy, handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). Optical microscopy revealed the manufacturing technology of the beads and uncovered discrepancies between the current method of visual identification for bead type and color and the structures and colors revealed through scientific analysis. Elemental analysis revealed a new turquoise blue bead composition.