Excavations 2017


This is a temporary blog for presenting the excavations of 2017 at Perdigões. Posts from 2011 to 2016 are still available.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

0190 - Shells as exotic items


A nice fragment of a Pecten maximus from tomb 3. An imported shell from the coast.
By the end of this moth it will come out a paper about the molluscs shells at Perdigões (A.C.Valera, Lino André, Views on the transregional interaction in Iberian Southwest Recent Prehistory: questioning the shells and molluscs from Perdigões. Estudos Arqueológicos de Oeiras, 23). There, we show that most of the mollusc’s shells in Perdigões are from sea or estuarine species (382 remains against 47 from freshwater), demonstrating that they are an important item in the transregional interaction where Perdigões was involved with. The Pecten maximus is the second most represented species (more than a hundred remains) and around 25% was present in funerary contexts. This is one more.

Only the convex valve is present at Perdigões. So, no Pecten molluscs were consumed. Only the shell arrived. For its shape, it was valued and used in ritualized practices and was part of funerary assemblages. It was an exotic item, to be analysed in the context of the approaches to mobility and interaction in Perdigões.

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