Sheridan, J A (2019) The creative reinterpretation of axeheads: the use of jadeitite and other Alpine rocks. In: Beyond paradigms. Abstract Book of the 25th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. European Association of Archaeologist, Bern, Switzerland, p. 367. ISBN 9788090727052

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Axeheads made of jadeitite and of other Alpine rocks (notably omphacitites and fine-grained eclogites) provide a classic example of an artefact type that acquired a symbolic meaning over and above its original functional meaning as a tool for felling trees and working wood. Axes were a necessary tool for farming communities and many hundreds of thousands were produced. But clearly certain axes (or axeheads) acquired an enhanced social value as iconic objects, with the axeheads' raw material coming from special locations - here, high in the North Italian Alps - and being imbued with divine power. The ways in which the numinous power of these special axeheads was constituted are explored: rarity, toughness, colour, shape, surface finish, treatment and deposition. The extraordinarily wide distribution of the axeheads from their source areas, and the complex life histories of certain examples, are investigated. This presentation uses the results of Prof. Pierre Petrequin's Projet JADE and JADE2 to explore the creative reinterpretation of the humble axehead.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jadeitite, Alps, Axeheads, Power, Value
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
Theme: Material culture: creation and use
Department: Scottish History and Archaeology (from 2012)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ross Anderson
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 14:48
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 14:48

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