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Forging Identity: The social and symbolic significance of torques in the Iron Age Castro Culture

Author(s): Nadya Prociuk

Year: 2017

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The Iron Age Castro Culture of northwestern Iberia was steeped in the crosscurrents of disparate cultural influences. Linked to areas of temperate Europe by Atlantic trade routes, the Castro Culture was also subject to the encroachments of Mediterranean powers moving through the Iberian Peninsula. These diverse influences manifested in the Castro Culture in a variety of ways, including in methods of personal adornment. The gold and silver torques left by the Castro people are the best example of this blending of forces, used as symbols of power and prestige across much of Europe, made with techniques learned from Mediterranean cultures. In this paper I will explore the social and symbolic work enacted by these torques, including their potential roles in social negotiations, ritual performances, and the formation, maintenance, and negotiation of personal and corporate identity. Often crafted with virtuosic skill, these objects represent the interaction of individuals and groups with the forces that shaped the world of Iron Age Europe, and their attempts to navigate those forces while asserting meaning and identity on their own terms.

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Forging Identity: The social and symbolic significance of torques in the Iron Age Castro Culture. Nadya Prociuk. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430404)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14414

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America