Using new provenance studies on stone implements from the Valencia region of Spain between 5500-2000 BC, we show not only the large scale of some exchange systems, but also consider how, and why, tastes and fashions are co-ordinated over much of the Western Mediterranean. The study considers the processes of raw material substitution underlying the observed patterns. These processes operate for a wide range of lithic materials, including rare minerals like variscite and fossil shells for ornaments. Simple gravity models of distribution and exchange predominate at all periods. Our study extends from Portugal to Italy, and indicates that a system of shared symbolic values, of axeheads, beads and bracelets, was in operation. The discussion concludes that consumption patterns were centred on these values rather than functional categories of tools or prestige items.
|Translated title of the contribution||Beyond characterisation. Polished stone exchange in the Western Mediterranean 5500-2000 BC|
|Pages (from-to)||107 - 127|
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Oxford Journal of Archaeology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2001|