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During the Neolithic, the populations were already handling the stone, and they designed and manufactured jewels of various materials, such as those that have been found in a town in eastern Andalusia, in the place of the Peñas de los Gitanos located 1,050 meters above the sea. This area was inhabited from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
The town of Los Castillejos It is part of a larger archaeological complex and was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1996 and includes caves, shelters, villages and necropolis, among which the megalithic necropolis stands out.
At Deposit, a team of scientists found between 1991 and 1994 several objects of personal adornment. Now the archaeologists Claudia Pau and Juan A. Cámara Serrano from the University of Granada have been able to identify six different categories of ornaments: pendants, beads, annular and conical elements, pins and toothed elements.
In the study, published in the journal Archeology, the experts determined the use and age of each of the jewels based on their morphology and the materials used.
Evolution of jewelry
According to scientists, several types of objects are recurring over time. "They appear in the oldest phases and disappear and meet again in the most recent phases, while other jewels characterize only some cultural periods”, Claudia Pau points out to Sinc.
This is the case of designs made with shells. "The annular elements in stone characterize the sixth millennium BC, while the shell bracelets are more recent”, Says the expert.
So, shell bracelets first appear in the Middle Neolithic (beginning of the V Millennium BC) and continue throughout the recent Neolithic (until the last third of the IV Millennium BC). The study emphasizes that this chronological distribution of the shell bracelets can have important implications for the dating of the first phases of use of megalithic contexts where these bracelets are usually frequent.
“Therefore, we can propose that many megalithic tombs were in use at least since the end Neolithic. In addition, there are typologies that are present only in the most recent levels, such as bitroncoconic beads (with circular plane shapes)”, Clarify the authors.
The archaeologists also appreciated a change in shape of rectangular pendants; “from very irregular shapes in the oldest stages, it will go to subrectangular shapes with rounded angles and finally to straighter shapes in the most recent specimens”.
“The shapes and traces of use indicate that the beads, pendants and some ring elements would be used to make complex ornaments such as necklaces and bracelets, or to decorate the head or clothing, while other ring elements would be used as ornaments for the wrists, forearms, or ankles”, They conclude.
Claudia Pau and Juan A. Cámara Serrano. "The first objects of personal adornment of recent prehistory in the town of Los Castillejos in Las Peñas de los Gitanos (Montefrío, Spain)" Archeology 2018.
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