Transforming Identities - New Approaches to Bronze Age Deposition in Ireland
|Becker K (2013) Transforming Identities - New Approaches to Bronze Age Deposition in Ireland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 79: 225-263.
|This paper explores the interpretation of the deposition of artefacts in Ireland from c. 2500 to c. 800 bc, combining a contextual analysis with post-processual ideas about materiality, artefacts, and their biographies. Hoards, single and burial finds are shown to be complementary strands of the depositional record and the result of deliberate deposition. It is argued that both the symbolic value of these items as well as economic and practical rationales determine the depositional mode. The paper attempts to infer social practices and rules that determined the differential treatment of materials and object types. The main structuring factor in the depositional record is the type-specific meanings of individual artefacts, which embody social identities beyond the utilitarian function of the object. The act of deposition facilitates and legitimates the literal and symbolic transformation of artefacts and the concepts they embody. The need for a separation between ritual and profane interpretation is removed, as deposition is understood as the reflection of prehistoric concepts rather than labelled according to modern notions of functionality. It is also argued that both dry and wet places are meaningful contexts and that different forms of wet landscapes were conceptualised differently.
|Bronze Age; Ireland; Artefacts; Hoards; Burial finds; Deposition
|Transforming Identities - New Approaches to Bronze Age Deposition in Ireland
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