Disc-rings of Alpine rock in western Europe: typology, chronology, distribution and social significance - NMS Research Repository
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Disc-rings of Alpine rock in western Europe: typology, chronology, distribution and social significance

Abstract

In France, disc-rings made from Alpine jades and from serpentinite circulated over very long distances, as far as the Channel coast and that of Brittany. The authors offer here a typo-chronological study of these and other stone bangles, according to the types of rock used, and consider their distribution and their social significance. Two geological source areas are identified: the Inner Alps (where disc-rings of regular shape were made, and whose rocks were the first to be exploited, from around 5300 BC at the latest) and the upper Rhine, where cobbles from the riverbed were gathered and used to make disc-rings of irregular shape from the beginning of the fifth millennium. Exactly like the circulation of the long jade adze-heads of Bégude type, that of the disc-rings of Alpine rock was underpinned by the belief systems of their users. That these objects were linked to the world of mythology is clear from the representations that were carved on monumental standing stones and on rock surfaces during the first half of the fifth millennium BC.

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