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A reappraisal of Iberian Copper Age goldwork: craftmanship, symbolism and art in a non-funerary golden-sheet from Valencina de la Concepción

A reappraisal of Iberian Copper Age goldwork: craftmanship, symbolism and art in a non-funerary golden-sheet from Valencina de la Concepción
A reappraisal of Iberian Copper Age goldwork: craftmanship, symbolism and art in a non-funerary golden-sheet from Valencina de la Concepción
Departing from the in-depth analysis and description of an exceptional discovery, consisting of a large hammered golden sheet decorated with embossed motifs from the well-known Chalcolithic settlement of Valencina de la Concepción (Seville, Spain), this article presents a general appraisal of the social and ideological role of gold in Copper Age Iberia. The information available for this find, including both its context and its inherent characteristics, opens up new perspectives for research into the technology, use, sociology and symbolism of gold during this time period. Firstly, we describe and analyse this unique item in detail, including the characterisation of the raw material used and the manufacturing process (via SEM-BSE and LA-ICP-MS), as well as an extensive reconstruction of the graphic motifs that are represented by using digital imaging processing techniques (RTI). Secondly, we compare this find with the data currently available for the (approximately) 100 Chalcolithic golden artefacts (or fragments of artefacts) found in Iberia to date. Finally, we present an appraisal of the social and ideological framework in which gold was used in Copper Age Iberia, discussing its relevance in aspects such as the dynamics of social complexity, prehistoric worldviews or artistic creation.
0959-7743
565-596
Murillo-Barroso, Mercedes
b816875c-05d5-413d-b045-d8811f422d07
Costa Caramé, Manuel Eleazar
e1ebd9a0-815e-481c-98ea-eb6fd1301793
Diaz-Guardamino Uribe, Marta
90b7539a-fe4b-446a-a6ff-4bd0a7b5cbf3
Garcia Sanjuan, Leonardo
0648ef8d-7514-448a-be81-b112fc67e2b7
Mora Molina, Coronada
b2b4a091-c053-4503-b387-510a6ef2274a
Murillo-Barroso, Mercedes
b816875c-05d5-413d-b045-d8811f422d07
Costa Caramé, Manuel Eleazar
e1ebd9a0-815e-481c-98ea-eb6fd1301793
Diaz-Guardamino Uribe, Marta
90b7539a-fe4b-446a-a6ff-4bd0a7b5cbf3
Garcia Sanjuan, Leonardo
0648ef8d-7514-448a-be81-b112fc67e2b7
Mora Molina, Coronada
b2b4a091-c053-4503-b387-510a6ef2274a

Murillo-Barroso, Mercedes, Costa Caramé, Manuel Eleazar, Diaz-Guardamino Uribe, Marta, Garcia Sanjuan, Leonardo and Mora Molina, Coronada (2015) A reappraisal of Iberian Copper Age goldwork: craftmanship, symbolism and art in a non-funerary golden-sheet from Valencina de la Concepción. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 25 (3), 565-596. (doi:10.1017/S0959774314001127).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Departing from the in-depth analysis and description of an exceptional discovery, consisting of a large hammered golden sheet decorated with embossed motifs from the well-known Chalcolithic settlement of Valencina de la Concepción (Seville, Spain), this article presents a general appraisal of the social and ideological role of gold in Copper Age Iberia. The information available for this find, including both its context and its inherent characteristics, opens up new perspectives for research into the technology, use, sociology and symbolism of gold during this time period. Firstly, we describe and analyse this unique item in detail, including the characterisation of the raw material used and the manufacturing process (via SEM-BSE and LA-ICP-MS), as well as an extensive reconstruction of the graphic motifs that are represented by using digital imaging processing techniques (RTI). Secondly, we compare this find with the data currently available for the (approximately) 100 Chalcolithic golden artefacts (or fragments of artefacts) found in Iberia to date. Finally, we present an appraisal of the social and ideological framework in which gold was used in Copper Age Iberia, discussing its relevance in aspects such as the dynamics of social complexity, prehistoric worldviews or artistic creation.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: November 2014
Published date: 22 May 2015
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 376490
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376490
ISSN: 0959-7743
PURE UUID: d5c5fa61-626a-4f3b-a9d0-998c8850f48b

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Apr 2015 09:22
Last modified: 27 Nov 2018 17:31

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