Evidence of bee products processing: A functional definition of a specialized type of macro-lithic tool

Mireia Ache, Selina Delgado-Raack, Elena Molina, Roberto Risch, Antoni Rosell-Melé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The present study deals with a specific type of cylindrical pestle identified among several thousands of macro-lithic tools studied so far for the Argaric Bronze Age (2200–1550 cal BCE) in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The combination of petrographic, technological, use-wear and residue analyses has allowed us to show that these tools were used to process beeswax and animal fatty products, probably for subsistence purposes. Apart from providing an easily recognizable archaeological tracer of apiculture, these results also complete our understanding of the economic organization of El Argar. Diachronic and spatial data reveal honey and meat productions as important energy alternatives in times of nutritional scarcity within a subsistence strategy based primarily on barley monoculture. Additionally, we show that there was socially differentiated access to both, honey and meat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-650
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Beeswax
  • El Argar
  • GC–MS
  • Macro-lithic artefacts
  • Residue analysis
  • Use-wear analysis

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