Metals in the bronze age essay

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Metals in the bronze age essay

Pour une remise en question du type de Bignan During the Middle Bronze Age, metalwork is mostly characterized by the spread of original, massive annular ornaments: With palstaves, those annular ornaments are the main artefacts With palstaves, those annular ornaments are the main artefacts found within the hoards of this period in western France.

Briard first individualized these objects, naming them Bignan-type bracelets after a hoard in Morbihan, where eighteen of them were discovered. Such specific personal ornaments have since been vaguely named thus when discovered, mostly in hoards of the Armorican Massif.

It now seems necessary to reconsider this designation, which associates objects that are at times very different and to take into account their specific characteristics from a morphological, ornamental, technological, contextual and regional point of view.

This paper, which is the result of ongoing doctoral research, aims to propose a new and original typology for such massive annular ornaments and highlight different regional groups. Their production and burying appear as a widespread phenomenon in Atlantic Europe, also expanding beyond that area.

This study also tries to evaluate the role of North-Western France within this wider trend. A historiographical assessment illustrates the evolution of the bracelet issue throughout research regarding the Bronze Age.

Then, in order to propose a new analysis of these massive annular ornaments, a comprehensive database was compiled, from museums and bibliographic data. Armorica corresponding to the French administrative regions of Bretagne, Pays de la Loire and Basse-Normandie is a relatively homogeneous geographic area as regards the type of production and the context.

Concerning the type of production, plano-convex or concavo-convex sections constitute the main shape, which may be decorated with patterns organized in symmetric panels, or without any decoration at all.

Two other groups can be identified: We now have to determine the common and distinctive features existing between the areas of concentration of these bracelets and try to unveil the different mechanisms of production, use, trade and burial.

Careful study of the morphological and ornamental aspects of these annular ornaments, their geographic distribution and discovery contexts, enables a renewed classification to be proposed as well as a description of several production groups.

The different geographic areas studied here present preferential criteria of morphological and ornamental features, following technical, symbolical and aesthetic choices, implying a review of data concerning the typology and terminology of the Bignan-type bracelets.

Morphological criteria of bracelets and anklets will be placed at the centre of this study, especially the general shape penannular, joined or annularsection shape plano-convex, concavo-convex, biconvex, quadrangular, triangular or diamond-shapedand, to a lesser extent, the shape of the extremities.

These typological elements can inform us directly about procedures in the operational chain of bracelet production, and their variations from one region to another. Technological and morphological aspects are both obviously linked.

Particular attention will be paid to the incised decoration: Precise analysis of the organization and shape of patterns have delivered convincing results showing regional and micro-regional preferences.

Depositing processes will also be closely studied, in the light of recent discoveries for which the context is well known, such as the hoard of Saint-Lumine-de-Clisson, Loire-Atlantique Boulud-Gazo et al.

Valuable information is supplied by the rare funerary contexts, which inform us, in particular, about the way these personal ornaments were worn. These discoveries allow the nature of the cultural practice behind the production and depositing of the massive annular ornaments to be considered.

This paper attempts to gather and synthesize the current state of knowledge about massive annular ornaments of the Middle Bronze Age. An accurate classification is proposed, using different criteria that help us define three regional groups.

These promising results are a first step, raising issues that I will further develop in my thesis. The typo-chronology will be refined and applied to a wider geographic area, technological concerns will be developed and hypotheses tested by archaeological experimentation.Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student.

Metals in the bronze age essay

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