This paper revisits an artefact type, lithomarge beads, last studied 40 years ago by Stevenson and Collins (1976). The rare purple colour produced by the naturally occurring mixture of haematite and kaolinite is the key characteristic and made this material desirable. Lithomarge beads are widely distributed across Northern Britain, but there are also numerous examples from Roam forts that help in dating the type. A tentative connection to purple pigment use within the Roman province of Britain is also suggested.
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