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.
Filed under: conferences
The 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.
(The journeys of neolithic Spondylus: A chronicle of research in the prehistoric Aegean, M. Nikolaidou & F. Ifantidis)
(Aspects of Neolithic and Bronze Age diet and material culture in Central Greek Macedonia: The evidence from shell analysis, R. Veropoulidou)
Filed under: websites
New URL for the ICAZICAZ Archaeomalacology Working Group:
The Archaeo+Malacology Group Newsletter is now available in pdf format.
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.
Filed under: bibliography
Spondylus bibliography updated: more than 140 entries plus links to full texts
Filed under: Spondylus studies
The ‘Parts and Wholes’ project (J C Chapman, Bisserka Gaydarska, Southampton University) is concerned with the relationship between complete objects and their fragments.
One of the case studies is the fragmentation of the Spondylus shell rings from Varna and Durankulak cemeteries.
Filed under: books
Archaeomalacology Revisited: Non-dietary use of molluscs in archaeological settings
edited by Canan Çakirlar
The past decade has witnessed a remarkable momentum in the advancement of archaeomalacological research but there is still a lot of room for progress. These ten papers are the second published proceedings of the archaeomalacology sessions organised by ICAZ (Mexico City, 2006). The contributions revisit important archaeological issues such as provenance of raw materials, dye production and the secondary uses of industrial shell waste, the role of shell artefacts in the symbolic world of diverse civilisations, technology and early cross-regional exchange networks. The papers testify to the merits of using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques to address archaeomalacological questions and demonstrate the interpretative value of integrating malacological expertise with experimental archaeology and detailed knowledge of archaeological context.
More info available from the publisher’s website