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Jewerly and power: the value of ornaments during the high Middle Ages in Aquitaine (V-IX centuries)

Grant number: 20/12566-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): June 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Cândido da Silva
Grantee:Julie Renou
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

instruments of power as well as manifestations of the wealth of an individual, his family and his social group. However, their study - both in Art History and Archaeology - often remained superficial and oriented around the formal and aesthetic analysis of the artifact. For convenience, this analysis addressed questions about the dating of the contexts of discovery, about the cultural origin of the buried, or, at most, it was used to present a biased image of social categories (by the simple occurrence of jewels in graves). Nevertheless, the study of textual sources has demonstrated the importance of the possession of so-called "precious" goods (where jewels are included) in aristocratic praxis. Their accumulation, display, and redistribution are part of the social processes that marked and consolidated the position of individuals and families within communities. The challenges of analysing the notion of the value of goods and the social mechanisms at work in their movement have already been outlined by medieval studies. Yet, although archaeology has a privileged view of the study of vestments, the analysis from the prism of ideational value has not been done for the High Middle Ages. This is the approach chosen for this project. The conditions of instrumentalisation of the jewels and the mechanisms of social representations of the elites will be studied from the archaeological analysis of the circulation of the High Middle Ages objects, especially in the ancient Aquitaine. (AU)

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