The Hualien Archeological Museum is to loan a glass bead in its collection to the Field Museum in Chicago for material analysis, the Hualien Cultural Affairs Bureau said on Wednesday.
The bead is part of a trove of archeological artifacts unearthed in 2016 at Chongde Village (崇德) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林), which include exquisite earthware, stone tools and animal bones, the bureau said.
Carbon dating shows the bead was made about 1,000 years ago, it added.
Photo Courtesy of the Hualien Cultural Affairs Bureau
The oblong, tubular bead is 5.87mm long, 7.5mm wide and the hollow inside has a diameter of 3.34mm, the bureau said.
In collaboration with the Hualien County Government, the Field Museum would analyze the bead’s composition to shed light on where the object originated from and the methods involved in its production, it said.
Depending on the results, the bead can then be cross-referenced against beads found at other archeological sites to reveal commercial and cultural links between the ancient cultures of Taiwan, it said.
The removal of an object from the Hualien museum is unprecedented, as its rules do not allow loans to outside groups, but an exception was made in this case, the bureau said.
The bead would remain at the Field Museum for a year, it said, adding that members of the public can sign a postcard that would be shipped with the artifact.
The Chongde excavation site covers 8 hectares partly within the boundaries of the village. The artifacts were discovered during a routine inspection following a request by residents to build housing.
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