Abstract

Archaeological chronologies tend to conflate temporalities from all cultural contexts in a region without consideration for the different depositional trajectories and life histories of the objects that serve as the basis of those chronologies. Social variables, such as gender, age, status, and individual mobility, act on artifacts in ways that must be identified and differentiated in order for seriations derived from one context to be applicable in another. This article presents evidence from early Iron Age contexts in Southwest Germany to illustrate this phenomenon and discusses its ramifications from the perspective of a case study focusing on the mortuary landscape of the Heuneburg hillfort on the Danube River. Gender in particular is strongly marked in this society and can be shown to affect the depositional tempo of certain artifact categories, which have different social lives and depositional fates depending on context. Artifact assemblages vary not only in terms of archaeological context and temporality but also are impacted by the social personae of the human agents responsible for, or associated with, their deposition.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 85-112
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-13
Open Access
No
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