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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrea Dolfini
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The article proposes a new interpretation of Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age warrior graves grounded in the ‘Rinaldone’ burial tradition of central Italy, 4th and 3rd millennia BC. In European archaeology, warrior graves are frequently thought to signal the rise of sociopolitical inequality rooted in metal wealth. The work questions the empirical and conceptual foundations of this reading, arguing that, in early Europe, copper was not as rare and valuable as it is often presumed to be; that metalworking did not demand uniquely complex skills; and that metal-rich burials cannot be interpreted in light of modernising ideas of identity. It is argued instead that the key to decoding prehistoric warrior graves lies in context-specific notions of gender, age, and the life course. In particular, life and death circumstances including violence (both inflicted and suffered) would determine why certain individuals were laid to rest with lavish weapon assemblages.
Author(s): Dolfini A
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: World Archaeology
Online publication date: 08/02/2022
Acceptance date: 21/04/2021
Date deposited: 11/05/2021
ISSN (print): 0043-8243
ISSN (electronic): 1470-1375
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