spondylus | sharing archaeological resources for spondylus sp.

The journeys of Neolithic Spondylus by fotisif
January 13, 2015, 8:43 am
Filed under: publications

spondylus 2015

A new publication available via academia.edu

Nikolaidou, M. & F. Ifantidis, 2014, Ταξίδια του Νεολιθικού Spondylus: Αρχαιολογικές καταδύσεις στα βαθιά νερά της Αιγαιακής προϊστορίας [The journeys of Neolithic Spondylus: Archaeological diving into the deep waters of Aegean prehistory]. In Εκατό Χρόνια Έρευνας στην Προϊστορική Μακεδονία [A Century of Research in Prehistoric Macedonia] (ed. L. Stefani, N. Merousis & A. Dimoula), Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.


The shell of the marine mollusc Spondylus gaederopus exerted special fascination in many prehistoric cultures, already since the Palaeolithic. Objects crafted from Spondylus valves feature prominently in the Neolithic of the Aegean, the Balkans, and Central Europe. Recent excavations have demonstrated the principal role played by Northern Aegean communities in the procurement of this valued material, the crafting and circulation of manufactured products on a wide geographical scale. Items of adornment, exchange goods, burial gifts, costume accessories, symbols, tools; Spondylus artefacts emerge as essential elements of neolithic peoples’ identities, bringing together and binding individuals, communities and cultures.
Archaeometric, technical and experimental research on Spondylus finds, and the archaeological study of their fragmentation, recycling, destruction, and deposition, trace the multiple life cycles of this fascinating shell –from its natural existence on the sea bed to its multi-layered cultural consumption. The Spondylus “phenomenon” consists of a “network” of journeys, between nature and culture and among different spheres of prehistoric peoples’ experience. At the same time, ancient Spondylus becomes an excellent starting point and reference for in-depth explorations of neolithic societies. In this paper we chronicle these journeys of archaeological research into the Prehistory of Macedonia.


Baby spondylus by fotisif
June 7, 2014, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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)