A Taste for Green: A global perspective on ancient jade, turquoise and variscite exchange [Hardback]

Carlos Rodríguez-Rellán (Editor); Ben A. Nelson (Editor); Ramón Fábregas Valcarce (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789252743 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2019 | Language: English 192p, H240 x W170 (mm) b/w and colour

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A Taste for Green


Often along vast expanses, ancient societies traded certain commodities that were considered valuable either for functional or symbolic reasons – or, rather, a mixture of both factors. A Taste for Green addresses latest research into the acquisition of jade, turquoise or variscite, all of which share a characteristic greenish colour and an engaging appearance once they are polished in the shape of axes or assorted adornments. Papers explore how, in addition to constituting economic transactions, the transfess of these materials were also statements of social liaisons, personal capacities, and relation to places or to unseen forces. The volume centres on two study areas, Western Europe and México/Southwest US, which are far apart not just in geographical terms but also with regard to their chronology and socioeconomic features. While some North and Mesoamerican groups range from relatively complex farming societies up to state-like organisations during the 1st and 2nd millennia AD, the European counterparts are comparatively simpler polities spanning the 5th–3rd millennia BC. By contrasting the archaeological evidence from diverse areas we may gain insights into the role that production/movement of these green stones played in their respective political and ritual economies. Also, we think it useful to compare the scientific approaches applied to this question in different parts of the globe, specially Asia.

Table of Contents

1. Production marks on turquoise objects and lapidary technology at Chaco Canyon: an experimental archaeology approach
Emiliano Ricardo Melgar Tísoc and Frances Joan Mathien
2. The green stone as a reason for the colonization of the Bolaños Canyon in Western Mexico Ma. Teresa Cabrero García
3. Green stone industry in central Jalisco, Mexico Martha Lorenza López Mestas Camberos, Jasinto Robles Camacho and Ricardo Sánchez Hernández
4. Green beads during late prehistory in the north-east Iberian Peninsula: social dynamics in a production and consumption context Josep Bosch, Anna Gómez, Silvia Calvo and Miquel Molist
5. From the green belt: an appraisal on the circulation of Western Iberian variscite Carlos Rodríguez-Rellán , Ramón Fábregas Valcarce and António Faustino Carvalho
6. ­­­Fifty shades of green: the irresistible attraction, use and significance of jadeitite and other green Alpine rock types in Neolithic Europe Alison Sheridan, Pierre Pétrequin, Anne-Marie Pétrequin, Serge Cassen, Michel Errera, Estelle Gauthier and Frédéric Prodéo
7. Spaces and signs for the transfer of Jade and Callaïs in the Neolithic of Western Europe Serge Cassen, Pierre Petrequin, Guirec Querré, Valentin Grimaud and Carlos Rodríguez-Rellán
8. Axes from the sky Richard Bradley and Aaron Watson
9. The finest green: the Iron Age quartz prase monocrystal from the Palacio III megalithic complex (Seville, Spain) Leonardo García Sanjuán, José Antonio Lozano Rodríguez, Timoteo Rivera Jiménez, Miguel Calvo Rebollar, Francisco Martínez-Sevilla, David W. Wheatley, Carlos Rodríguez-Rellán, Cristobal Verdugo Escamilla and László Halmos

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