Prehistoric Personal Adornment in Social and Economic Context

Claire Heckel, American Museum of Natural History – AMNH (US) (AMNH) – Central Park West at 79th Street New York,
NY 10024 – États-Unis

Solange Rigaud,CNRS PACEA (UMR5199) – Université de Bordeaux Université Bordeaux, Bâtiment B18, Avenue des
Facultés, 33405 Talence – France

Quartier latin, Paris, France
3-9 Juin 2018

You are warmly invited to take part in the XVIIIe Congrès de l’UISPP, which will be held in  Paris, France, from 4th to 9th June 2018

Personal ornaments are polythetic artifacts that are intimately connected to identity, social organization, and ritualized material practices. Their analysis, when performed with appropriate tools, offers unique insights into the social organization of prehistoric societies and, when considered longitudinally, cultural evolution. Evidence that has been uncovered in the last twenty years has substantially altered the timeline for the emergence of symbolic behavior and also shown that instead of a sudden emergence, personal adornment has a complex and mosaic prehistory marked at certain times and places by intensified investment. The conditions that motivate investment in symbolic material culture are complex and varied, and untangling them is crucial to understanding the contribution of symbolic practices to the form and function of human societies. This session will focus on methods and approaches that further a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the factors that have influenced personal adornment production and use over time and space, going beyond typology and technology to examine broader economic, social, and cultural contexts. Examples are welcome from a wide range of contexts across pre- and proto-history, from hunter-gatherer bands of the Pleistocene to early pastoral and farming societies and including ethnographic and ethnohistorical examples, without geographic restriction. Contributions should focus on analytical methods and techniques (including microscopy and imaging, use-wear analysis, sourcing, morphometrics, GIS analysis, and statistical approaches) that contribute to discussions of production organization, social organization, demography, mobility, landscape use, technology, exchange, and cultural transmission. The primary focus of the session is beads and pendants in biogenic materials (tooth, shell, ivory, bone, antler, amber, ostrich eggshell), but we invite contributions based on other materials related to adornment such as minerals, metals, pigments, residues, and perishable materials
such as hide, sinew, and hair.

The general theme held for the congress is :

Sub-Themes :

  • Historiography
  • Archaeological methods
  • Archaeological theory
  • Archaeological training
  • Archaeological prospection
  • Field archaeology
  • Computing archaeology
  • First Humans
  • Lower Palaeolithic
  • Middle palaeolithic
  • Middle Stone Age
  • Upper palaeolithic
  • Final palaeolithic
  • Mesolithic
  • Neolithic
  • Chalcolithic
  • Metal ages
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • Prehistoric art
  • Rock Art
  • Mobile Art
  • Functional studies
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Lithic industries
  • Bone industries
  • Ceramics
  • Palaeometallurgy
  • Flint mining
  • Raw material procurement
  • DNA studies
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Archaeozoology
  • Funerary archaeology
  • Paleoanthropology
  • Archeobotanics
  • Archeometry
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Archaeology in the mountains
  • Desert archaeology
  • Tropical archaeology
  • Absolute dating
  • Paleoeconomy
  • Heritage site management
  • Rescue archaeology
  • Cross-cutting themes
  • The Intellectual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-Litterate Societies

As for each UISPP World Congress, the Congress is open to all other sessions, regardless of the general theme above, which may be proposed in the context of the call for sessions.

For more information, visit: