Cordes i cistells elaborats amb fibres vegetals entre el 5300 – 800 cal bc al nord-est peninsular i balears: tecnologia, matèria primera i funció

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The main objective of the present work is to understand the production processes of objects based on vegetable fibers (cordage and basketry) and their possible uses between Neolithic and Bronze Age communities in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. The study of these remains can inform us about the societies that produced and used them, and especially about the choice and obtaining of plant raw materials. Ecological knowledge of past populations and understanding of technical processes are factors that play a key role in creating social environments of the past. The specific questions that this thesis will address are: What types of objects were produced with vegetable fibers? What types of vegetable fibers were used? How were these crafts made? What were they used for? To answer these questions, we will study objects made with vegetable fibers from sites in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. The thesis aims to provide data on the management of plant resources of agricultural societies and, in particular, on their ecological knowledge. It is also intended to characterize the processes of making handicrafts in vegetable fibers and determine their function. The case studies treated in this thesis are the remains of basketry and cordage from the sites of La Draga (Banyoles, Girona), dated ca. 5,300 - 5,000 cal. BC, Les Coves del Fem (Ulldemolins, Tarragona), dated between 4,941 - 4,545 cal. BC, La Cova des Pas (Ferreries, Menorca), dated between 1,100 - 800 cal. BC and the impressions of ceramic basketry from La Cova Fonda site (Salomó, Tarragona), attributed according to the typology of ceramic materials in the Bronze Age. The methods used were aimed at characterizing the techniques used in the preparation, identifying the plant material used and proposing possible functionalities based on anatomical features, morphometry and manufacturing technique. The results obtained indicate, in all cases, the use of local plants, abundant and easy to obtain either in lake or riverside environments, in the case of La Draga or Les Coves del Fem, or in the vicinity of La Cova des Pas. At a technological level, in the set of cordage and basketry of the studied sites it has been possible to document a recurrence in terms of techniques. Twisting predominates between the cords, although the braiding technique is also documented. Among the basket remains is a predominance of the coiled technique in all contexts; however, morphotechnical variants within the same manufacturing technique are evident, which basically focus on the typology of the stitches. Finally, through the study of the basketry sets presented both directly and indirectly, it has been possible to detect various functionalities within the domestic sphere: food storage, transport and the modeling of ceramics. On the other hand, the role of cords in burial funeral activities has also been documented.
Date of Award1 Apr 2022
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorAntonio Palomo Pérez (Director) & Raquel Pique Huerta (Director)


  • Vegetal fibers
  • Basketry
  • Prehistory

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