Marginella Shell Beads

Title

Marginella Shell Beads

Description

These shell beads were found at an Early Historic period site in Montgomery County in Southwestern Virginia. They are made from the Marginella genus of marine molluscs. Shell beads were valuable in Virginia Indian exchange systems long before the colonists arrived, and they continued to function as important trade goods for navigating relationships with Europeans. Archaeologists suspect that shell beads functioned as symbols of status and authority within and between communities.

Date Created

1600 - 1700 C.E.

Source

Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond, VA

Format

Photograph

Physical Dimension

682 × 503

Coverage

Montgomery County