The Production and Use of Cordage in the Balearic Bronze Age: The Cova des Pas (Ferreries, Menorca)

S. Romero-Brugués, Raquel Pique Huerta, Ll. Picornell-Gelabert, M Calvo, J.M. Fullola Pericot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of plant-fibre remains in the Mediterranean is limited due to the scarce archaeological sites where this organic material has been preserved. However, the Late Bronze Age burial site of Cova des Pas in Minorca (1100–800 cal BC) has provided an extraordinary assemblage of well-preserved organic materials, including an important number of cordage remains. The aim of this paper is to present the results of the study of more than 600 cordage remains and to provide new insights into the production and use of cords in this period in Balearic Islands prehistory. Firstly, we have characterised the production process by analyzing the morphological and technical characteristics of the whole assemblage. According to the results, plant resource management, past environments, and cordage production in Balearic Bronze Age societies are discussed. Finally, the function of these cords is considered, according to the technology of production and the archaeological context. Despite the homogeneity of the sample, some variations regarding size, direction of twist and type of cords have been documented. Cords were used to tie the leather shrouds wrapping the dead bodies and to fix these mortuary packages to the wooden biers used to transport them to the burial cave.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-130
JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Balearic Bronze Age
  • Vegetal fibres
  • cordage
  • plant material culture

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