Marine Shell Ornaments in Atlantic Europe: Standardization of Form in the Gravettian

  • Lisa Rogers


Marine shells have been selected for the creation of ornaments –
beads and pendants – for thousands of years. Some researchers (Bar-
Yosef 2015; Stiner 2014) have suggested that particular shapes and
genera of marine shells were preferentially selected for ornament
creation during the Upper Paleolithic of Europe. This study examines
the shapes of marine shells used for ornaments during the Gravettian
period (27,000-20,000 BP) of Atlantic Europe. Results indicate that,
similar to previous research, basket-shaped marine shells were being
preferentially selected. This result is discussed in the context of
social and environmental risk, standardization, and human-material
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