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Ceramic Beads with Incised Lattice Design

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Artifact Description

The “Tortugas” wreck contained 40 ceramic beads, half of which are undecorated, cylindrical, badly eroded and porous. The other 20 barrel-shaped and conical examples are decorated with an incised lattice design across the body and incised double or single lines encircling the ends.

At least three of the ceramic beads exhibit tiny flecks of gold on their surfaces, perhaps remains of original gold leaf veneer. Such beads are generally identified as European trade products, which are poorly documented within Spanish-contact North American assemblages, suggesting limited use in the New World.

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