Session: #263

Theme & Session Format

The archaeology of material culture, bodies and landscapes
Session format:
Session, made up of a combination of papers, max. 15 minutes each

Title & Content

Precious materials and fine metal work in the European Iron Age – function, aesthetic and technology
Luxury objects are an important part of European Iron Age material culture. This is reflected in personal ornaments, decorated weapons, vessels, wagons and furniture, etc. This session deals with materials such as gold, silver, bronze, enamel and glass as well as organic materials, such as ivory, coral, amber and jet. These luxury materials played an important role in social, religious, economic and artistic terms that we would like to discuss.
Our session offers the opportunity to compare the trade and exchange systems of different precious materials in diverse parts of Europe. As different as the materials are, as unequal is their value. Hence, different raw materials have been accessible for different social groups; this is why the distribution patterns of different raw materials allow us to establish a more detailed reconstruction of the economic systems during a certain period and to trace the chronological dynamics in this context. Moreover, since raw materials are always closely interrelated with networks of production and consumption, their distribution patterns and dynamics enable profound insights into the circulation of the ideas and people behind the materials.
Our aim is to bring together research dealing with different aspects of these prestigious materials and objects combining social anthropology, archaeological context, style, arts and crafts, technology and archaeometry. Therefore, we invite contributions concerned with interdisciplinary approaches to precious materials and fine metal work.
Iron Age; Precious materials; Technology
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:


Main organiser:
Dr Barbara Armbruster (France) 1
Dr Sebastian Fürst (Germany) 2
Dr Marilou Nordez (France) 1
Dr Roland Schwab (Germany) 2
1. CNRS - Laboratoire TRACES - UMR 5608
2. Curt-Engelhorn Center Archaeometry - Mannheim