A Baltic / Rus-Viking bead necklace
This Baltic / Rus-Viking necklace shows a group of beads (symphatically joined together) from the area around Lake Ladoga in present North Western Russia.
In today's consumer market it is difficult to appreciate the value that beads had in historical periods. Every bead, regardless of method of manufacture was the result of great labour, whether polished from a pebble of carnelian, wound from glass produced from sand and colored with minerals extracted from the earth or made from glass hard natural mollusks.
For stone beads, drilling the stringing hole alone was a labor of many hours per bead !
Accordingly, when made, ancient beads were extremely valuable. None valued them more than Vikings. In The Vikings, Time Life Series, Wernick, p.94 states that " Vikings would go to any length to get ahold of coloured beads". Viking raids often resulted in demands for tribute and beads were above gold. As a result, Vikings owned and cherished beads, produced from Africa to Eastern Europe and England, in addition to those domestically produced.
A Viking bead of Byzantine type
Vikings from Scandinavia and today called Russia travelled the Volga southwards to Constantinople and the Byzanthium Empire. Vice versa the Byzanthiums did the same.
As a witness of this trading route, here two glass beads of Byzanthium type, found on the west coast of Latvia