Decorated Beads from Kendrick's Cave

Contributed by National Museum Wales Cardiff

Prehistoric beads from Kendrick's Cave, Great Orme, Llandudno
© Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Prehistoric beads from Kendrick's Cave, Great Orme, Llandudno © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

These beads, perhaps from a necklace, were made at the very end of the last Ice Age when people first returned to Wales.Prehistoric finds were discovered in a cave on the Great Orme when stone mason Thomas Kendrick cleared it so he could use it as a workshop. Amongst the discoveries were perforated and decorated beads made of animal teeth. These date to the end of the last Ice Age when people lived in temporary camps and followed the herds of animals they hunted for food.

The beads are made of deer and wild cattle teeth and the roots were shaped and drilled using stone tools. They are all decorated with parallel lines, which were painted with a red colour that might be ochre. They may have been worn as a necklace.

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