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Who venerated the ancestors at the Petit-Chasseur site? Examining Early Bronze Age cultic activities around megalithic monuments through the archaeometric analyses of ceramic findings (Upper Rhône Valley, Switzerland, 2200–1600 BC)

Published inArchaeological and anthropological sciences, vol. 15, no. 5, 62
Publication date2023-04-20
First online date2023-04-20
Abstract

Through the analyses of recovered pottery, this study explores the social dimension of an ancestor cult developed at the Petit-Chasseur megalithic necropolis (Upper Rhône Valley, Switzerland) during the Early Bronze Age (2200–1600 BC). The jar votive offerings and domestic pottery from settlement sites were characterized using a range of spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Acquired archaeometric data allowed identification of six ceramic fabrics and two types of clay substrate—illite- and muscovite-based—which were used in pottery production. The present article discusses the pottery composition in the light of natural resources available in the region, thus shedding light on raw material choices and paste preparation recipes. The Early Bronze Age people that lived in the Upper Rhône Valley seem to have shared a common ceramic tradition, partly inherited from the previous Bell Beaker populations. The compositional correspondence between the jar offerings and domestic pottery revealed that the majority of the known Early Bronze Age groups partook in cultic activities at the Petit-Chasseur megalithic necropolis.

eng
Keywords
  • Pottery
  • Early Bronze Age
  • Ceramic traditions
  • Human–environment relationship
  • Ancestor cult
  • Social ties
Citation (ISO format)
CARLONI, Délia et al. Who venerated the ancestors at the Petit-Chasseur site? Examining Early Bronze Age cultic activities around megalithic monuments through the archaeometric analyses of ceramic findings (Upper Rhône Valley, Switzerland, 2200–1600 BC). In: Archaeological and anthropological sciences, 2023, vol. 15, n° 5, p. 62. doi: 10.1007/s12520-023-01737-0
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ISSN of the journal1866-9557
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