Life and death in the Neolithic variscite mines at Gavà (Barcelona, Spain)

Ferran Borrell, Josep Bosch, Tona Majó

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2015. Mining has commonly been thought of as hard manual labour undertaken by the lower echelon of a hierarchical society, but was this always the case? Recent excavations of the variscite mines at Gavà have revealed burials contemporary with the peak of mining activity that represent a community of miners exploiting the subterranean resources for trade and manufacturing variscite beads with a nuanced symbolism. Skeletal evidence demonstrates the physicality of mining while grave goods reveal a community that worked collectively to mine, manufacture and trade goods, with miners themselves benefiting from the fruits of their labours.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-90
    Issue number343
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • Beads
    • Burial
    • Grave goods
    • Mining
    • Neolithic
    • Osteoarchaeology
    • Social hierarchy
    • Variscite


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