Ornamental objects in bone materials from the Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula: the sites in the province of Granada.
The preliminary results of the global analysis of the ornaments of the period between the Chalcolithic and the first Bronze found in important sites of the province of Granada are presented, such as the Cerro de la Virgen (Orce), Los Castillejos in Peñas de los Gitanos (Montefrío), La Covacha de la Presa (Loja), Los Eriales (Laborcillas) and La necropolis del rio Gor (Gorafe).
The main categories of ornaments have been initially identified, and the raw materials have been analysed to identify their origin. The artifacts have been examined with the binocular magnifying glass and the scanning electron microscope to identify the technological and usage traces, and experimental tests have been carried out with the aim of finding the same traces observed in the prehistoric pieces. Subsequently, ethnographic information has been collected regarding the use and meaning of the ornaments. Thanks to this work, it has been possible to identify the final stages of manufacture, the drilling techniques and the restoration processes, and to propose the way in which the various types of ornaments should be displayed. Moreover, taking into account that the decorative objects not only have an aesthetic value, but can also have a polyfunctional character, several uses have been proposed (apotropaic, prophylactic-therapeutic, or as a social and wealth identifier) that have been confirmed by ethnographic studies. Likewise, the presence, among the analysed artifacts, of ornaments that were repaired after breakage to keep them in use, indicates the importance that these objects must have had for their bearers. This presentation will be concluded by pointing out possible relationships with contemporary ornaments from other sites in the South-East of the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean.