Gabe – Markt- Redistribution. Der Austausch von Spondylus gaederopus in Europa zwischen 5500 und 5000 v. Chr. : Raw Materials, Innovation, Technology of Ancient Cultures - RITaK 6


Arne Windler


Spondylusartefakte, Spondylus gaederopus, prähistorischer Austausch, Wirtschaftsarchäologie, Außenhandelsmodell, Neolithikum, Tauschwirtschaft, Tauschpraktiken, Europa, Urgeschichte


Exchange and trade are inherent parts of daily life and are inexorably integrated in social and economic practices. When trying to conceptualise prehistoric exchange, it is essential to distinguish reciprocity, redistribution and market exchange, but this model is often applied uncritically. The first part of the present study discusses this subdivision and replaces it with an alternative theory which divides exchange into social, economic and temporal dimensions. Using the foreign trade theory, developed in political economy, the second part of the study focuses on the economic dimension in prehistoric societies. This is centred on the case study of artefacts made from the Mediterranean shell Spondylus gaederopus, which for over 100 years have been referred to as the Neolithic trade goods par excellence, but which had hitherto not been systematically recorded. To investigate exchange, Spondylus artefacts in Europe dating to between 5.500 and 5.000 B.C. have been collected and analysed contextually. In contrast to earlier interpretations, this illustrates the enormous importance of the economic dimension for prehistoric societies.



December 1, 2018


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