Archaeology and value: Prehistoric copper and bronze metalwork in the Caucasus Cover Image

Archaeology and value: Prehistoric copper and bronze metalwork in the Caucasus
Archaeology and value: Prehistoric copper and bronze metalwork in the Caucasus

Author(s): David PETERSON
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Editura Renaissance
Keywords: Archaeometallurgy; Bronze Age; Caucasus; Daghestan; technology; value

Summary/Abstract: Early metallurgy has long been an important aspect of accounts of prehistoric culture and society in the Caucasus. Interest has often focused on its economic importance and sources of raw materials, especially the tin needed to make bronze. While origins, economy, and sources are important to the study of prehistoric metallurgy, they do not satisfactorily explain the role of metalwork in burials or other ceremonial contexts, nor the lengths people went to in order to produce or acquire even a few metal objects. These are better approached from the perspective of the value people attached to objects and actions, which may be addressed in archaeology through correspondences between the ways in which groups of objects were made and used. This further relates to the choices and skill with which goals were met in production. This article examines evidence for early metal making practices in 3rd millennium BC metalwork from Velikent site in present day Republic of Daghestan, Russia. Patterns in metal making and metal use provide a basis for examining interactions in ancient Eurasia, in which metalwork articulated connections between individuals as well as local and distant groups.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 8
  • Page Range: 111-121
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English