Party Season Ancient Style – Beads and Bling

The Christmas party season is well and truly here – glitter, beads, bows and make up, but how did people adorned themselves in ancient times?

The tradition of stringing beads and other objects together to form jewellery has been around since the earliest humans.  Shells, teeth, claws and other natural objects were worn by Stone Age people for decoration and possibly status.

The Ancient Egyptians used faience (a ceramic with ground quartz) to make numerous objects including the brightly coloured beads found in their intricate necklaces.  This one was found in the tomb of a high ranking 12th Dynasty official called Wah.



Roman Millefiori bead


The introduction of glass blowing in 1BC led to the mass production of glass beads in and around the Mediterranean.  Millefiori (‘thousand flowers’) glass beads were made by the Romans to create stunning pieces of jewellery that would have certainly been the bling accessories of their age.


Mrs History delivers workshops on many ancient cultures, with costume, jewellery and make up a key part of the sessions.  Contact us for availability.


Creative Commons photos courtesy of,  Fungus b

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