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A Stone Plaque with Incised Motifs

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1994
Culture
: Iberian
Period
: Iberia, ca. 3000 - 2000
Material
: Stone
Dimensions
: Height: 17.5 cm
Price
: POR
Provenance
:

Acquired on the European Market, 1993.


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The plaque, thin and irregular, is in the shape of a trapezoid.  The upper surface, which is well worn, is smooth and ornamented with incisions, while the bottom is less carefully carved.  The decoration seems to be limited to a geometric motif repeated two or three times without variation: a carved zigzag alternating with a reserved one.  Two small suspension holes pierce the top of the plaque.

Plaques of this type, with incised decoration, are found today in the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula.  Their shape is vaguely rectangular, but their proportions vary.  The incisions are always linear, even if in certain cases they seem to represent a very stylized face: for this reason, archaeologists compare these objects to human figures.  They generally come from necropoleis: one or more plaques were placed on the body or at its side.  We do not know their exact significance, but it is certain that their use was related the afterlife.

Bibliography

On the Iberian Bronze Age:

ALMAGRO GORBEA M.J., Los idolos del Bronce I hispano, Madrid, 1973, pp. 181-223, pl. XXX-XXXV.

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