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Amber Bead Workshop

The unfinished amber bead.

During the Viking period York was a major centre for trade and manufacture of goods.  This bead is part of the evidence of a workshop making amber objects.  It was nearly finished but not polished before being discarded, probably due to the maker finding imperfections which might lead to the bead breaking.

Other bead blanks were broken and discarded earlier in the process, either because they contained imperfections or because they had already broken.  Clifford Street is one of only two sites proving that amber items were made as well as traded in the bustling town that was Viking York, giving a handful of broken bits of amber more importance than you might expect.


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