Early Medieval Irish Glass Beads~ Recreating 6th-7th Century Spiral bead found in Newtownbalregen.

This is a reproduction of a bead found in Newtownbalregan.  During the M1 Dundalk Western bypass project. The bead was found in a Ring fort 2km northwest of Dundalk in advance of the construction of the Dundalk western bypass. The previously unknown site was discovered while doing a test trench by the IAC in March 2002 and excavation was completed between March and September 2003. The complete final report on the dig can be found here in a doc format.


Illustration of ring Fort in Newtownbalregan where the bead was found.



You can find more information on the archaeological site here: http://www.asi-louth.ie/exhibition-newtownbalregan.php


Photo of the original bead on display at the county museum, Dundalk.

bead newt

My reproduction of the bead below.


A description of the bead from Glass beads of Early Medieval Ireland by Mags Minion is as follows:

Spiral marvered  decorated yellow beads.

Classified as a class 7 bead in book. They are normally spherical in shape and the spiral form marvered flush with the surface. The body is usually translucent yellow in color, with the decoration applied being an opaque yellow. The surface of the bead can be decorated with either two or three spirals, evenly distributed around the circumference, and interlinked on account of the fact that the decoration is applied in a continuous line. Not withstanding that they are found on early medieval sites, stratified and associated with other datable material. (p 25)