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Matières du quotidien, matières de luxe : os, bois de cerf, ivoire, corail, nacre, corne, fanon de baleine et écaille de tortue dans l'artisanat médiéval et postmédiéval en Provence à partir de l'étude conjointe des sources archéologiques, écrites et iconographiques

Abstract : This doctoral work studies and documents the use of bone, antler, ivory, coral, mother-of-pearl, horn, tortoiseshell and whalebone, together called « hard materials from animal origin » (matières dures d’origine animale), in the Provence region from the Middle Ages up to the modern period, until the advent of industrialization, an era of deep upheavals which put an end to the traditional production methods. Our research established these materials are used for manufacturing many functional or decorative objects either luxurious and expensive or ordinary and cheap. They sometimes also constitute ingredients incorporated in pharmaceutical formula or culinary recipes, are used in steel making or for glue production. Our analysis is based on the joint study of archaeological sources including more than 4000 pieces discovered in excavations, written and iconographic sources with the additional support of archaeozoology and ethnography. It provides a vision of these materials use and their qualitative and quantitative integration in medieval and modern Provençal economies. Our approach highlights the mechanical properties of the raw materials, the morphology of anatomical pieces from the various animal species as well as the craft work technical development along the different periods. Ivory, coral, mother-of-pearl, horn and tortoiseshell surface trade routes are equally documented. From discovery contexts and observation of the tools marks on the objects, blanks and waste, when the technical approach was feasible, we characterized the manufacturing processes and places. Detailed analysis of the written sources also provides information on the craftsmen working these materials, on the sale and circulation of objects and raw materials. The interdisciplinary approach helps better understand the produced objects genesis, identify and characterize their specific ornamentation characters, reproduce their morphological evolution, estimate their market value and therefore identify the social category they are intended for, put forward assumptions about the symbolism conferred upon them, and finally describe the way they are perceived and therefore sometimes regulated.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-02999865
Contributor : Marie-Astrid Chazottes <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 10:54:43 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 10:22:04 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 12, 2021 - 6:18:09 PM

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  • HAL Id : tel-02999865, version 1

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Marie-Astrid Chazottes. Matières du quotidien, matières de luxe : os, bois de cerf, ivoire, corail, nacre, corne, fanon de baleine et écaille de tortue dans l'artisanat médiéval et postmédiéval en Provence à partir de l'étude conjointe des sources archéologiques, écrites et iconographiques. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Aix-Marseille Université, 2017. Français. ⟨tel-02999865⟩

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