While African beads and their cultural significance are of particular interest to me, the history of beads and trade routes throughout ancient history can give us a plethora of information about the history of humankind.
The earliest known example of jewelry are a pair of sea snail shells from the Nassarius sea, which have been dated back to 100,000 years. Ancient civilizations including Egypt, Rome, Greece, China, India, Mesopotamia, Russia, and Mali had established bead trade routes, which were traded for natural resources such as gold, iron and even slave labor.
Glass beads date all the way back to 3500 BC, originating in Mesopotamia. The tradition continued, spreading into Egypt in 2000 BC and Rome in 1500 BC. Glass beads have outlived many of the civilizations that originally created them.
History of Beads shall be continued…until next time, stay beautifully adorned!