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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-522
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Archaeology
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 11 2022

Keywords

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

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