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Allochthonous red pigments used in burial practices at the Copper Age site of Valencina de la Concepción (Sevilla, Spain): characterisation and social dimension

AuthorsRogerio Candelera, Miguel A. ; Herrera Quintero, Liz K. ; Miller, A. Z. ; García Sanjuán, Leonardo; Mora Molina, C.; Wheatley, David W.; Justo, Ángel ; Sáiz-Jiménez, Cesáreo
Copper Age
Valencina de la Concepción
Pigment characterisation
Social inequality
Issue Date2013
CitationJournal of Archaeological Science 40(1): 279-290 (2013)
AbstractThe use of red pigments linked to burial practices is widely documented in the Iberian prehistoric record and very often it has been traditionally interpreted as a ritual practice entailing the utilisation of local raw materials (iron oxides). Some research works, nevertheless, have also detected the use of red pigments which can only be interpreted as allochthonous. The red pigments spread over a single inhumation in a monumental Megalithic tomb surrounding Valencina de la Concepción Copper Age settlement was studied by means of X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray microfluorescence, micro-Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies. This approach allowed characterising the red pigments as cinnabar, mixed with tiny amounts of iron oxides. The presence of cinnabar, a product that was necessarily imported, in a context of an exceptional set of grave goods, suggests that the use of cinnabar was linked not only to ritual but also to practices related to the display of social status.
Description36 pages, 12 figures, 2 tables, 67 references.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.08.004
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
(ICMS) Artículos
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