Objects from Pre-history

Reproductions made with the original techniques and materials

 
  • produced by archaeologists, using the latest data from archeological research;

  • produced by hand, with the techniques used in prehistory;

  • produced only with natural materials, collected locally from sustainable sources;

  • aimed at promoting knowledge and enthusiasm for archeology and prehistory in the Iberian Peninsula.

Tools and Weapons

The ability to imagine, transform raw materials and create tools is one of the characteristics that distinguishes us from most other species. Hunting, collecting, building shelter structures, the need to produce fire, and all the other activities that we have been developing over the millennia, have been accompanied by the development of the most varied tools.

 

Wood, bone, stone and natural fibers were the materials used in the manufacture of the first tools. Later, the development of technologies such as the twisting of rope or the production of resin glues, allowed the development of more complex and effective tools.

 

However, one of the most important and transversal technologies is that of working, knapping and polishing, in stone. It is the most dominant element in material culture that has survived to the present day and served as a basis for defining all periods of prehistory: the Paleolithic (ancient stone age), the Mesolithic (middle stone age), the Neolithic (new stone age) and the calcolytic (stone and copper age).

 

All of our reproductions are made using the same techniques  being used in these periods, such as stone knapping and polishing (flint, chert, amphibolite, etc.), work on wood, leather, bone and horn, natural fibers twisted by hand (trovisco, tendon, etc.), production of resin glues (pine resin and beeswax, birch resin, etc.), among others.

 

Manual Pottery

Pottery is one of the first artificial materials created by mankind. It results from the combination of clay and non-plastic elements (such as fragments of quartz, bone, shells, or vegetable matter) in a paste that is modeled, dried and then baked at high temperatures (above 650 º C) - a process that causes a chemical change in the modeled paste and makes it a much more resistant and impermeable material.

 

This technological innovation is closely linked to the beginning of sedentarization and the practice of pastoralism and agriculture - the Neolithic (about 7500 years ago in the Iberian Peninsula). It came for the first time to supply waterproof containers that allowed the accumulation and preservation of surpluses as well as new ways of cooking food.

 

The importance of ceramics for archeology and the study of prehistory is due to the fact that - together with the remains in stone - it consubstantiates most of the material culture that survived over the millennia, and can provide important information about the production techniques, the origin of raw materials, its different uses, etc.

 

Our reproductions seek to fully reproduce the entire original process, from collecting the clay, creating the paste, modelling  decorating and firing. Most of our pieces are from neolithic and copper age sites of the Iberian Peninsula.

 

Votive Objects

Although their meaning remains largely an enigma, objects considered votive are, as a rule, of exceptional beauty and attractiveness and without apparent practical applicability.

 

For periods without writing, these are the "documents" available to archeology that allow us to suggest clues, not only about their economy, technology and aesthetics, but also about the ideas and beliefs of the societies that created them.

 

In this context, schist plates are objects of great artistic and symbolic richness, typical of the Late Neolithic and Copper Age in the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Usually rectangular or trapezoidal in polished schist (profusely decorated with geometric and anthropomorphic patterns) and with perforations at the top, so it is assumed that they were used around the neck, as pendants. This aspect has led many archaeologists to suggest that they represent a Neolithic deity, but more recent studies also suggest that the patterns may have served to represent the owner's family line.

 

Our reproductions are representations of shale plates deposited in monuments in the south of Portugal and Spain - their territory by excellence. We look for natural shale sources whose stone is as close as possible to the quality used in prehistory and we use stylets with a flint tip for engraving.

 

Adornement Objects

The use of objects of high aesthetic or symbolic value as a body adornment has always been of great importance to Human societies throughout prehistory. Most of the time we don't know if they were used as a form of social differentiation, as an amulet or just for their aesthetic value.

 

From the Upper Paleolithic the use of these objects increases exponentially, with new techniques for creating ornaments. New tools such as buris, scrapers and punches allowed the production of new objects such as pendants and necklaces.

 

As a rule, these objects are made of shells, teeth, bones, ivory, perforated and engraved with geometric figures, of animals or vegetables. Communities increase the radius of their incursions in search of new materials such as amber, rock crystal, coral, jade or other brightly colored stones. 

 

From the Neolithic period with the emergence of stone polishing techniques, even more complex pieces such as rings and bracelets began to appear. Gold and copper also began to be hammered, long before the discovery of foundry, and used as elements of increasingly complex adornments.