Friday, November 10, 2017

Brit Women Liked "Wasted Studs"

Via LincolnshireLive UK:

Sorry gents, that'd be earrings.

This particular ear plug, or waisted stud, was found near the early Bronze Age burial mounds on the north bank of the Witham.  It's a stray find that may have been unearthed during a previous excavation and mishandled.

Jet ear plugs have so far only been found with women in Britain.  I believe most anything jet in the EBA is usually, or only, found with women. 
Via LincolnshireLive
It's likely that some men had plugs of a more perishable material, and certainly not a chicky color.  Otzi and Tutakhamen bookend the periods before and after the Beaker Period, and both of those individuals had stretched earlobes - so it's possible.

Totonac Ceramic (Vassil)

Plus, in the Irish Late Bronze Age, these spools become very dramatic and are worn by men.  Given that the material was gold, that makes one wonder if plugs of similar size were worn in the Beaker period but no evidence survives.  Who knows.

Depiction of a Late Bronze Age Irish-Hawaiian.  

I'd imagine that some sort of balance would be sought for a woman wearing jet earrings.  Possibly charcoal eyeliner, facial tattoos or facial art in order to bring it all together.  Looking at Pre-Columbian Indians and the Western Pacific, probably. 

Here's a paper by Mary Cahill concerning the ear spools of the British Isles.

"Unspooling the Mystery"


  1. Thank you! I’m interested in personal adornment in European Prehistory. So Jet was only found in British Beakers. I remember seeing an Aquamarine & Jet Bell Beaker necklace( maybe here)

  2. I would check out the authors in this post and their Academia profiles of papers on jet jewelry:

    I wrote in that post that golden lunulae we're probably worn by men because of an ambiguous find from Orbliston, but it's been suggested by some of these authors these were also exclusive to women. Strangely enough, never in burials.

    Bead sharing seems plausible though

  3. Fascinating stuff - thanks for sharing.


    Heres a youtube video about a dartmoor cist burial of a young woman with jet grave goods.