Towards a definition of politico-ideological practices in the prehistory of Minorca (the Balearic islands): The wooden carvings from Mussol Cave

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Abstract

Archaeological research into political relations and ideology among prehistoric societies has often been seen as unreliable or intrinsically speculative. Without denying the difficulties of this task, great advances can nevertheless be made when societies produced specialized artefacts in order to enhance social communication. Starting from historical materialism, the goal of this article is to show how Minorcan communities from the late second millennium BC constructed social differences in the context of a changing non-classist society. The research is based upon a unique set of wooden carvings recently found inside the Mussol Cave (Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). The analysis begins with a careful description of these objects and the place where they were used, before categorizing them as a form of specialized 'communicative artefacts'. As such, they played a crucial role in the context of practices aimed at enabling certain people to acquire a new social condition. Copyright © 2005 SAGE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-299
JournalJournal of Social Archaeology
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005

Keywords

  • Communicative artefacts
  • Minorcan prehistory
  • Mussol Cave
  • Political and ideological practices
  • Social production
  • Wooden carvings

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