Exotica in the Prehistoric Mediterranean [Paperback]

Andrea Vianello (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842174241 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2011 | Language: English 216p, 8 pages of colour illustrations, b/w illustrations

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Exotica in the Prehistoric Mediterranean


This book examines how exotic materials were exchanged and used across the Mediterranean from the Neolithic era to the Iron Age, focusing on the Bronze Age. A variety of materials and interpretative approaches are presented through several case studies. These emphasise how the value of exotic materials depended on the context in which they were consumed. The book firmly departs from assumptions of fixed categories such as prestige items or corresponding values, as evident in the Amarna letters. Instead, it shows how almost any object could be appreciated or ignored depending primarily on the cultural, social and economic dynamics of individual communities.

Table of Contents

The Neolithic
1. Protohistoric Spondylus gaederopus L. shell: some considerations on the earliest European long-distance exchanges related to shamanism (Michel Louis Séfériadès)
2. Insignia of exotica – skeuomorphs of Mediterranean shells in Chalcolithic south Eastern Europe (Dragos Gheorghiu)
3. Salt production and use in prehistory: toward a complex systems view (Tomaso di Fraia)
4. Obsidian Finds on the Fringes of the Central Mediterranean: Exotic or Eccentric Exchange? (Robert H. Tykot)
5. Mineral Mining and Mineral Trade in Mountainous Melanesia and the Mineral zone of Motten: Parallels between prehistoric central Europe and archaic societies in contemporary New Guinea (Heinrich C. Dosedla and Alf Krauliz)

6. Amber in antiquity (Nuccia Negroni Catacchio)
7. Neolithic amber processing and exchange on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea (Ilze Loze)
8. L’ambra e i principi guerrieri di età orientalizzante in Italia (Amber and the warrior princes of the Orientalising period in Italy) (Nuccia Negroni Catacchio)

The East Mediterranean and the Aegean Bronze Age
9. Exotic materials and objects sent to — and from? — the Bronze Age Aegean: Some recent work and some observations (Helen Hughes-Brock)
10. Glass in the Aegean Bronze Age – Value, Meaning and Status (Caroline Jackson and Emma Wager)
11. Low-value manufactured exotics in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages (Elon Heymans and Gert Jan Van Wijngaarden)
12. Exotica in early Mycenaean burials as evidence for the self-representation of the elite ( Helène Whittaker von Hofsten)
13. Recognizing niello: three Aegean daggers (Nancy R. Thomas)

Westward Ho! the ships
14. Recognising exotica in the archaeological record: the case of the Mycenaean exchange network (Andrea Vianello)
15. Before the stream: the social and economic role of exotica in the central Mediterranean. The case of ivory items from Roca (Riccardo Guglielmino, Francesco Iacono and Michela Rugge)

Broadening perspectives
16. Bird-shaped prows of boats, Sea Peoples and the Pelasgians (Jan Bouzek)
17. Prestige swords of the Bronze Age (Anthony Harding)

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