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First farmers cultivated an interest in green stone beads
Scientists found that green beads (like the ones shown) emerged in large numbers with agriculture some 11,000 years ago.National Academy of Sciences, PNAS
Fledgling farmers in the
Bead-making began by 110,000 years ago in what’s now
“Because beads in white, red, yellow, brown and black colors had been used earlier, we suggest that the occurrence of green beads is directly related to the onset of agriculture,” Bar-Yosef Mayer says.
Green jewelry mimicked the color of young leaf blades, thus signifying a wish for successful crops and fertility, in her view. Green beads remain popular in agricultural groups today. Based on meanings attributed to these ornaments over the past few centuries, green beads originally served not only as fertility charms but as amulets to ward off the evil eye, the researchers propose online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.