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Biography: Elliot H. Blair

Elliot H. Blair

Dr. Elliot H. Blair is conducting elemental analyses of chevron and Nueva Cádiz beads recovered from 16th-century archaeological sites on Florida's Gulf Coast to characterize the evolution of 16th ­century glass bead recipes.

"Glass beads are one of the most abundant and important artifact types found on colonial sites in the Americas," Dr. Blair says. "They are key tem­poral markers, and determinations of their manu­facturing sources help illuminate complex trade networks of the contact-era. Compositional analy­sis of beads from this period will help refine our understanding of 16th century European glass bead production, addressing questions of chro­nology and allowing examination of the complex circulation of beads through international markets and diverse colonial enterprises."

Dr. Blair expects this project to produce a detailed chronology of 16th and 17th century Vene­tian glass recipes, a larger body of data "with which to evaluate the anomalous Jamestown bead assemblage," and a better understanding "of the role of glass beads within the provisioning strate­gies of diverse colonial powers."

The results of the study will be published in major archaeological journals and presented at archaeological conferences, including the annual meetings of the Society for Historical Archae­ology, the Society for American Archaeology, and the Southeastern Archaeological Conference.

Dr. Blair earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California-Berkeley in 2015. He is the co-author of a monograph of the beads of St. Catherines Island (Liberty County, Georgia), and the author and co-author of various journal articles and book chapters on bead-related topics.