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Scientific article
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English

Pottery technology as a revealer of cultural and symbolic shifts: Funerary and ritual practices in the Sion ‘Petit-Chasseur' megalithic necropolis (3100–1600 BC, Western Switzerland)

Published inJournal of Anthropological Archaeology, vol. 58, 101170
Publication date2020
Abstract

Research on the third millennium BC in Western Europe has tried for decades to understand the mechanisms of the large-scale cultural changes that took place during its course. Few studies have focused on technological traditions, although these are key to considering continuities and disruptions. In this article, we used pottery technology to approach the evolution of social and symbolic practices at a major megalithic site in Switzerland: the necropolis of Sion, Petit-Chasseur (Valais). We reconstructed technological traditions for the Valaisian Final Neolithic (3100–2450 BC), the Bell Beaker Culture (2450–2200 BC), and the Early Bronze Age (2200–1600 BC). This was done using the chaîne opératoire approach, analyzing fashioning methods, finishing treatments, and decoration. The sequence of these technological traditions, along with architectural and historical aspects, confirms that significant breaks happened during the use of the site with specific traits coinciding with the emergence of the Bell Beaker Culture and then again with the Early Bronze Age. These findings support the idea that the transition between the Final Neolithic and the latter periods marked an important cultural and symbolic shift in Western Europe and that this shift was, at least in Western Switzerland, linked to several exogenous components.

Keywords
  • Archéologie
  • Préhistoire
  • Europe
  • Suisse
  • Valais
  • Technologie Céramique
  • Néolithique
  • Campaniforme
  • Age du Bronze
  • Megalithisme
  • Funéraire
  • Traditions
Funding
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 172742 (PI M. Besse)
  • Autre - Bourse Augustin Lombard (SPHN)
Citation (ISO format)
DERENNE, Eve, ARD, Vincent, BESSE, Marie. Pottery technology as a revealer of cultural and symbolic shifts: Funerary and ritual practices in the Sion ‘Petit-Chasseur” megalithic necropolis (3100–1600 BC, Western Switzerland). In: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 2020, vol. 58, p. 101170. doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2020.101170
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Article (Published version)
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0278-4165
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