spondylus | sharing archaeological resources for spondylus sp.

a spondylus bead from south france by fotisif
March 4, 2014, 4:43 pm
Filed under: inquiries

An inquiry on behalf of Anne Hasler from INRAP concering an interesting Spondylus bead

planche Néo perle sans ombreWe found a circular bead made out of Spondylus in the south of France (ca. 4600 cal BC, early Middle Neolithic of France), where similar finds are totally unknown. The only quite similar bead I found comes from Vinča Belo Brdo: it is the biconical bead found during M. Vasić’s excavations and published by V. Dimitrijević and B. Tripković.

Knowing that a previous dig in Provence showed some links between south of France and Balkans for the early Middle Neolithic, I wonder if some of the readers could help me tracing other beads of this kind.


Anne Hasler (anne.hasler@inrap.fr)

Photograph © Vincent Mourre /Inrap

from the aegean sea to the paris basin by fotisif
December 19, 2013, 8:57 am
Filed under: publications, Spondylus studies

windlerPaper by Arne Windler on Spondylus trade and exchange mechanisms. Available here.

Parures de coquillages du néolitique en Europe by fotisif
October 23, 2013, 5:43 am
Filed under: publications

bonnardin“Parures de coquillages du néolitique en Europe (vie-ve millénaires av. J.-C.)” by Sandrine Bonnardin, in the special volume of Techniques & Culture (2012), dedicated to the journeys of shells, Itinéraires de coquillages.

The volume is available here

Ugurlu (Imbros Island) spondylus workshop (?) by fotisif
June 10, 2013, 6:22 pm
Filed under: publications


The excavation at the neolithic site of Ugurlu yielded significant evidence of a possible Spondylus “workshop”.  More info on this preliminary article.

Presentations on shell material at the ‘A century of research in Prehistoric Macedonia’ conference by fotisif
November 30, 2012, 11:40 am
Filed under: conferences

100The links below are videos of two shell-related papers read at a conference held on the occasion of a century of research in Prehistoric Macedonia at the Archaeological museum of Thessaloniki.
http://www.livemedia.gr/video/33077 (The journeys of neolithic Spondylus: A chronicle of research in the prehistoric Aegean, M. Nikolaidou & F. Ifantidis)
http://www.livemedia.gr/video/33050 (Aspects of Neolithic and Bronze Age diet and material culture in Central Greek Macedonia: The evidence from shell analysis, R. Veropoulidou)

http://www.archaeomalacology.com/ by fotisif
July 4, 2012, 6:38 am
Filed under: websites

New URL for the ICAZICAZ Archaeomalacology Working Group: http://www.archaeomalacology.com

The Archaeo+Malacology Group Newsletter is now available in pdf format.

Aszod – Papi-foldek Spondylus Stable isotope study by fotisif
June 4, 2012, 6:32 am
Filed under: Spondylus studies

Aszód – Papi-földek késő neolitikus lelőhelyen feltárt kagylóékszerek származási helyének meghatározása stabilizotóp-geokémiai módszerrel [Stable isotope geochemical provenance study of shell ornaments from Aszód – Papi-földek] by Kalicz N. et al. Published in Környezet – Ember – Kultúra: A természettudományok és a régészet párbeszéde [Environment – Human – Culture: Dialogue between applied sciences and archaeology] (ed. A. Kreiter Attila, Á. Peto &  B. Tugya): 317-326. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum Centre for National Cultural Heritage (2012).

Abstract: Determination of the provenance of Spondylus objects is essential for the interpretation of Late Neolithic exchange systems and the social role of shell ornaments. Stable isotope analysis was performed on ornaments (beads, bracelets) excavated at Aszod – Papi-foldek archaeological site to defi ne the source of Spondylus shells. For comparison Spondylus artefacts from Neolithic sites of Greece, modern shells from the Aegean and the Adriatic Seas, as well as fossil Spondylus and Ostrea shells from the Carpathian Basin were analysed. Oxygen isotope composition of Spondylus artefacts from Aszod ranges between -1.9 and 2.1‰ and overlaps with the isotope range of artefacts from other Neolithic sites. Modern shells both from the Aegean and the Adriatic Seas show overlapping _18O values with the Neolithic objects, therefore the Spondylus shells at Aszod can have Aegean or Adriatic origin. Based on earlier strontium isotope analysis the use of fossil Spondylus shells was excluded, however, the notion of fossil shell use has recently been emerged again. The artefacts from Aszod and the fossil oyster shells exhibit overlapping oxygen isotope values, however, the Spondylus objects retained their original aragonite material and no diagenetic calcite was detected suggesting that the studied ornaments were made of recent shells. Crystalline aragonite stripes and calcitic parts observed in the artefacts are not related to fossilisation. Considerable number of limestone beads was found among Spondylus ornaments; according to stable isotope analysis they were made of non-marine limestone probably of local origin.

The entire volume (in Hungarian) is available here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.