Coastal Resource Integration and Reuse in Iron Age South-Eastern Iberia: The Lead Ingots Cast from Pinna nobilis Shells

Date

2022

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Abstract

The Iron Age shipwrecks of Agde K (Brescou Island, France) and Cabrera B (Balearic Islands), discovered in the 1960s, together yielded seven lead ingots cast in the large shells of Pinna nobilis molluscs. Lead isotope analysis later traced the ingots to lead sources in south-eastern Iberia. These ingots are reassessed here as evidence for the integration of coastal production strategies in Iron Age south-eastern Iberia, revealing material connections between metallurgy and coastal industries linked to the exploitation of Pinna nobilis, such as sea silk manufacture. This compelling example of reuse of materials from one industry in another attests to a circular economic activity that is likely to have had practical and environmental motivations. The author aims to promote the recognition of Pinna nobilis shell casting and similar reuse phenomena elsewhere in the Mediterranean basin.

Description

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Keywords

coastal resources, reuse and recycling, circular economy, Iron Age, Iberian Peninsula, lead ingots

Citation

Gosner, L. (2022). Coastal Resource Integration and Reuse in Iron Age South-Eastern Iberia: The Lead Ingots Cast from Pinna nobilis Shells. European Journal of Archaeology, 25(4), 504-522. doi:10.1017/eaa.2022.24

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