Cultural behaviour of hunter-gatherer societies during Upper Palaeolithic in northeast Iberia. Techno-morphological study of personal ornaments

During the last decades, research on personal ornaments has been gaining importance in relation to the study of past societies. Most researchers recognize that ornaments constitute a non-verbal language, they act as transporters of social and personal identity, and the assemblage characteristics reflect social changes and the extension of ethno-linguistic territories.

To face the difficulties of this kind of approximation, since the 90’s studies focused on the technology of the ornaments have intensified and diversified, applying different techniques of microscopy and relying on experimental programs to test the hypotheses of use and manufacture. In this communication we present the first approach to the ornamental assemblages recovered in NE Iberian sites from the Upper Paleolithic. In this study, we propose an approach to the chaîne opératoire of the ornaments through the analysis of the raw material provenance and selection, modification, use and discard, contributing to define patterns of human technological behaviour.

Gala García-Argudo