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Natural substances, landscape forms, symbols and funerary monuments: elements of cultural memory among the Neolithic and Copper Age societies of Southern Spain

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This paper explores how Neolithic and Copper Age societies of Southern Spain established highly patterned relationships between natural elements (matter, form) and human-made devices (artefacts, architectures) in order to maintain their cultural memory. These patterns of relationships involve (i) the selection of special types of rocks (natural substances) and their utilisation with
both votive and architectural purposes, (ii) the frequenting and sacralisation of anomalous natural spaces (conspicuous vs. hidden), (iii) the material transformation and re-utilisation of certain funerary monuments and (iv) the visual connection of sites prominent in the collective memory. In time, the interaction between “natural” and “artificial” elements lays on the landscape a complex
web of references that are integrated in narratives of both mythical (cosmogony, foundational legends)and genealogical (ancestors, lineages) memories. In turn, this web of references becomes integrated in the dynamics of tradition and change embedded in the religious and political ideologies of the societies that developed in Southern Spain during this long time span. This discussion
will focus on two case-areas on which the authors have on-going research, namely Almadén de la Plata (Sevilla) and Antequera (Málaga)

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Citation

García Sanjuán, Leonardo and Wheatley, David (2010) Natural substances, landscape forms, symbols and funerary monuments: elements of cultural memory among the Neolithic and Copper Age societies of Southern Spain In, Material Mnemonics: Everyday Memory in Prehistoric Europe. Oxford, GB, Oxbow books

More information

Published date: 2010

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 167153
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/167153
ISBN: 978-1842179666
PURE UUID: ac423b05-3b30-48d5-8988-14699bfdd546

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Date deposited: 09 Nov 2010 08:44
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:24

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Contributors

Author: Leonardo García Sanjuán
Author: David Wheatley

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