spondylus | sharing archaeological resources for spondylus sp.

cfp-prehistoric adornment at the 15th EAA meeting by fotisif
May 19, 2009, 6:22 pm
Filed under: conferences

The 15th annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists will take place at Riva del Garda (15-20/09/2009).

Roberto Micheli is the organiser of a session dedicated to the study of prehistoric adornment.

From natural shapes to abstract geometries: new data and current trends in the study of prehistoric personal ornaments

The recent discoveries and developments in the study of prehistoric personal ornaments have highlighted the antiquity, the complexity of employment and the relevance of such objects in prehistoric societies. Indeed, personal ornaments constitute a fascinating field of material culture having psychological, religious and sociological implications, since people used them to express their personality, to protect themselves from magic and illness, to indicate the! belonging of individuals to particular groups and to underline their social status. Therefore, ornaments are not only simple aesthetic artefacts or costume embellishments, but rather they are effective means to convey complex information and messages which cannot always be inferred from mere archaeological evidence. Nevertheless, personal ornaments do not often receive the attention they deserve during excavations and have not yet been given due relevance in prehistoric research. The aim of this session is to offer new data and an overview of current trends in the study of personal ornaments of prehistoric Europe. The session would allow scholars to present their latest research and discuss a number of issues, such as types and raw material variability, technological aspects, usewear and ornaments employment, circulation and trade, symbolic meaning, ancient costume. The session could be a unique opportunity to meet and debate, and could also be a starting point to establish a specific research branch on personal ornaments, with its own methodology and problems, within prehistoric studies. The session would be divided into two sections: one devoted to Palaeolithic and Mesolithic studies, the other to Neolithic studies.

PLEASE CONTACT: Roberto Micheli Via Pierluigi Da Palestrina, 1 34133 – Trieste Italy T: +39 328 4574853 E: michelir@tiscali.it


spondylus in equador by fotisif
May 18, 2009, 11:27 am
Filed under: Spondylus studies

Alexander J. Martin (University of Pittsburg) has recently completed his PhD on the Spondylus industry of coastal Equador. His thesis (2009) and his MA (2001), the abstacts of which are posted below, are available through the Proquest digital dissertation database.


Alexander J. Martin

Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Archaeological evidence from the prehistoric Spondylus industry of coast of Ecuador is analyzed to clarify how the production of export items was structured and the role that it played in the development of social complexity. The reconstruction of the trajectories of social change of the prehistoric populations of the Machalilla National Park suggests that the region retained very low population numbers and very little evidence of social stratification until the end of the Regional Development Period (ca. A.D. 700). At around this time, a large population boom, increased evidence of supra-local forms settlement organization, more status distinction between settlements, and more architectural investment in elite structures suggest a marked rise in social and political complexity. These developments occurred at the same time that central Andean states began demanding locally produced Spondylus objects. Evidence for the manufacture of such items within the study area is widespread. Many models of social development propose that elite cooption of specialized craft production can serve as a useful avenue through which elites can acquire differential status and institutionalize their leadership. However, contrary to the expectations of these models, the data analyzed here suggest that craft production of sumptuary goods was an activity essentially carried out by household units for the benefit of the domestic economy. The appearance of large consumer markets of Spondylus items in the central Andes seems to have promoted local social stratification by providing the centripetal forces that pressured population nucleation and the derived managerial formations needed to permit smooth social articulation of large numbers of people residing in close proximity to one another.


Alexander J. Martin

M.A. Thesis, Florida Atlantic University, 2001

This thesis provides an analysis of the archeological remains of Spondylus in the Central Pacific Coast of South America. The frequency of occurrence, spatial distribution and cultural context are compared both geographically and temporally to establish the reason for the trade of Spondylus, what form this exchange took, through what routes it moved, and how it evolved through time. The sample strongly supports a scenario in which Spondylus trade with Peru stayed relatively small scale and unsophisticated through most of its existence as a series of informal commercial transactions by neighboring communities. It is not until Moche V in the Moche Valley, and the subsequent Chimú occupation, that a revolution in the exploitation of this resource occurs with a sudden increase in site frequency, a proliferation of iconographic depictions, the appearance of ritual contexts, and the appearance of a state organized redistribution infrastructure (around Chan Chan).

call for papers – eaa riva del garda 2009 by fotisif
May 13, 2009, 5:55 am
Filed under: conferences

Francesco Carrer and Zsuzsanna Siklósi organize for the first time in the history of the EAA meetings a session dedicated to research by postgraduate students, entitled “Young scholars, high level: student research of upland landscapes and other important archaeological subjects”.

The first part of the session will concern the upland landscapes. Every kind of approach will be taken into account: from site analysis to the evaluation of territorial structure, from the application of new technologies to the digital rendering of landscape, from paleoenvironmental analysis to settlement strategy analysis… This will be the main part of the session. On the other hand, it has been decided to give a chance to other students that present high quality research not strictly within the main session theme; in fact, postgraduate research concerning any thematic, chronological, geographical or theoretical ambit can be presented in the second part of the session.

Supervisors of the session will be Francesco Carrer (francescocarrer@libero.it), PhD student at the Department of Philosophy, History and Cultural Heritage of Trento University and Zsuzsanna Siklósi (siklosizs@gmail.com), PhD student at Eötvös Loránd University, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Budapest.

An abstract of the proposed paper has to be sent before the 31st of May deadline to the e-mail address laboratoriodipreistoria@lett.unitn.it; the e-mail address of the participating student has to be indicated to enable contact after the selection. The abstract has to be written in English and should not exceed 3000 characters.

The abstracts will be read by a board of examiners that will judge them for their originality and academic merits. The members of this board will be: Prof. Annaluisa Pedrotti (Prehistoric Archaeology), Dr. Stefano Grimaldi (Paleolithic Archaeology), Dr. Diego Angelucci (Geoarchaeology), Dr. Elisa Possenti (Medieval Archaeology), Dr. Fabio Cavulli (Methodology of Research). A decision on the admission of papers will be made by the deadline of the 20th of. All students who have sent an abstract will be informed of the result of the selection.

Some of the papers will be selected for presentation in the session, some will not. A few of the non-selected papers will be invited to join the poster session.