V.B.3. Bronze spiral bead or ‘ olive bead’, Weaving house, Timpone della Motta
This conical spiral pendant or bead is made of copper alloy wire, round in section. The spiral shows 14 loops and at the ends the wire is hammered thinner.
In the contexts of the Weaving House on the Timpone della Motta several such objects have been found. They belonged to fibula, belt or dress ornamentation.
The type occurs frequently in the tombs of the Iron Age in South Italy, for instance in tombs at Santa Maria d’Anglona as belt pendants. The beads are also found in the graves of Pontecagnano, where they are appearing for the first time in the IB period and continue during period II.
This gives a date to these objects in the first three quarters of the 8th c. BC. Kilian catalogued the bead at Sala Consilina under type 15R1b.
Today spiral wire jewellery is still popular (see sites on the Internet), because it looks nice and is not very hard to make. The latter is only true when a supple and even wire can be obtained and a good pair of pliers used!
To our knowledge the latter were unknown and thus the tight winding of such beads may have taken care and time.
The object comes from the contexts of the Weaving House on the Timpone della Motta during the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004 and is now in the National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.