Dataset Open Access

A database for Spondylus gaederopus during the Neolithic of Europe

Arne Windler

Artefacts made of the Mediterranean mollusc Spondylus gaederopus are in the focus of archaeological research since the publication of the hoard of Bernburg, Germany, in 1885 by Rudolf Virchow. They are considered to be one of the first long distance exchange goods in Europe, as the distribution of Spondylus artefacts spreads between the Adriatic/Aegean Sea up to the Paris Basin during the Neolithic. While the dataset covers sites containing Spondylus between die Palaeolithic and the Iron Age, the artefacts are described in detail for the time frame of the widest distribution between 5500 and 5000 BC.
A total of 486 sites were recorded, but due to the question of early exchange systems, only 194 sites with 8037 artefacts were included in detail. These sites were selected because they coincide with the widest distribution between 5500 and 5000 BC. As the geographical distribution of the artefacts covers a large area and the research history has a long time span, the heterogeneous data had to be homogenized.

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