A Summerterm experience investigating prehistoric beads made from ostrich
eggshells in Kenya has led one St. Lawrence student to try to replicate
the ancient techniques used.
Rebecca L. Chartier '03,
of Voorheesville, NY, is conducting a research project with Associate
Professor of Anthropology John Barthelme. Chartier participated in Barthelme's
Summerterm course in Kenya, where she encountered ostrich eggshell beads
from a 13,000-year-old site, Olkena. She is continuing her research
into the beads by studying the dates, manufacturing techniques, tools
and specific attributes of similar items found throughout Eastern and
Southern Africa, as well as modern beads.
As part of the project, Chartier has made stone-tool drills and manufactured
her own ostrich-eggshell beads. To date, she has perforated the shells
using four different techniques and learned how to simulate the drilling
techniques probably used at Olkena. Chartier is planning to make an
entire necklace of the beads, using these prehistoric techniques.
A graduate of Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School, Chartier is an anthropology/religious
studies major at St. Lawrence.
Posted: December 11, 2002