Limits...
Phylogenetic analysis shows that Neolithic slate plaques from the southwestern Iberian Peninsula are not genealogical recording systems.

García Rivero D, O'Brien MJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The lack of testing is often justified by invoking the opinion that the slippery nature of past human symbolism cannot easily be tackled by the scientific method.The analysis reported here demonstrates that this is not the case, even when the most supportive data and techniques are used.This would entail a cultural system in which plaque design was based on a fundamental core idea, with a number of mutable and variable elements surrounding it.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Prehistoric material culture proposed to be symbolic in nature has been the object of considerable archaeological work from diverse theoretical perspectives, yet rarely are methodological tools used to test the interpretations. The lack of testing is often justified by invoking the opinion that the slippery nature of past human symbolism cannot easily be tackled by the scientific method. One such case, from the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, involves engraved stone plaques from megalithic funerary monuments dating ca. 3,500-2,750 B.C. (calibrated age). One widely accepted proposal is that the plaques are ancient mnemonic devices that record genealogies. The analysis reported here demonstrates that this is not the case, even when the most supportive data and techniques are used. Rather, we suspect there was a common ideological background to the use of plaques that overlay the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, with little or no geographic patterning. This would entail a cultural system in which plaque design was based on a fundamental core idea, with a number of mutable and variable elements surrounding it.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Distribution map of the four data sets.Sample 1: red; sample 2: green; sample 3: blue; and sample 4: pink. Gray numbers reference plaques that belong to more than one sample. The names of Portuguese districts are Leiria (Lei), Lisboa (Lis), Setúbal (Set), Beja (Bej), Faro (Far), Évora (Evo), and Portalegre (Port), and the Spanish provinces are Cáceres (Cac) and Badajoz (Bad).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3928193&req=5

pone-0088296-g004: Distribution map of the four data sets.Sample 1: red; sample 2: green; sample 3: blue; and sample 4: pink. Gray numbers reference plaques that belong to more than one sample. The names of Portuguese districts are Leiria (Lei), Lisboa (Lis), Setúbal (Set), Beja (Bej), Faro (Far), Évora (Evo), and Portalegre (Port), and the Spanish provinces are Cáceres (Cac) and Badajoz (Bad).

Mentions: See Fig. 4 for district locations.


Phylogenetic analysis shows that Neolithic slate plaques from the southwestern Iberian Peninsula are not genealogical recording systems.

García Rivero D, O'Brien MJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Distribution map of the four data sets.Sample 1: red; sample 2: green; sample 3: blue; and sample 4: pink. Gray numbers reference plaques that belong to more than one sample. The names of Portuguese districts are Leiria (Lei), Lisboa (Lis), Setúbal (Set), Beja (Bej), Faro (Far), Évora (Evo), and Portalegre (Port), and the Spanish provinces are Cáceres (Cac) and Badajoz (Bad).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3928193&req=5

pone-0088296-g004: Distribution map of the four data sets.Sample 1: red; sample 2: green; sample 3: blue; and sample 4: pink. Gray numbers reference plaques that belong to more than one sample. The names of Portuguese districts are Leiria (Lei), Lisboa (Lis), Setúbal (Set), Beja (Bej), Faro (Far), Évora (Evo), and Portalegre (Port), and the Spanish provinces are Cáceres (Cac) and Badajoz (Bad).
Mentions: See Fig. 4 for district locations.

Bottom Line: The lack of testing is often justified by invoking the opinion that the slippery nature of past human symbolism cannot easily be tackled by the scientific method.The analysis reported here demonstrates that this is not the case, even when the most supportive data and techniques are used.This would entail a cultural system in which plaque design was based on a fundamental core idea, with a number of mutable and variable elements surrounding it.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Prehistoric material culture proposed to be symbolic in nature has been the object of considerable archaeological work from diverse theoretical perspectives, yet rarely are methodological tools used to test the interpretations. The lack of testing is often justified by invoking the opinion that the slippery nature of past human symbolism cannot easily be tackled by the scientific method. One such case, from the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, involves engraved stone plaques from megalithic funerary monuments dating ca. 3,500-2,750 B.C. (calibrated age). One widely accepted proposal is that the plaques are ancient mnemonic devices that record genealogies. The analysis reported here demonstrates that this is not the case, even when the most supportive data and techniques are used. Rather, we suspect there was a common ideological background to the use of plaques that overlay the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, with little or no geographic patterning. This would entail a cultural system in which plaque design was based on a fundamental core idea, with a number of mutable and variable elements surrounding it.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus