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From Westness, Rousay, Orkney

Postcard of Necklace.
© National Museums Scotland


This necklace with beads of glass, paste, amber, bone and stone was found in a woman's grave at Westness on Rousay in Orkney. It was probably made in Scandinavia and brought to Orkney as a prized personal possession of one of the Scandinavian settlers.

The glass and paste beads are in a variety of colours, with some made in a millefiori technique. The necklace of beads may have been worn strung between two oval brooches pinned at the shoulders.

A number of pagan graves have been excavated at Westness. This high status woman died in childbirth. She was buried with a splendid Insular brooch (the so-called Westness brooch), Scandinavian oval brooches, this necklace and a range of domestic items.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-920-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 740
Date: Between 850 and 900
Material: Glass and paste, various colours and patterns; one white stone bead; one thin disc of bone; on string
Dimensions: Disc 0.70" D
What: Bead / string
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Rousay, Westness
Description: String of thirty nine glass and paste beads of various colours and patterns, from Westness, Orkney
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