Display Modes of Personal Ornaments in the Upper Palaeolithic Sites of Istria, Croatia

Barbara Cvitkušić, Darko Komšo


In the attempt to understand culture and social behavior of prehistoric populations, findings of personal ornaments are of particular interest. Personal ornaments in their formal expressions (marine shells and snails, river snails, animal teeth, modified animal bones etc.) not only point to an universal idea of decoration and aesthetic sensibility, but may also reveal contact zones and communication paths. Perforated animal teeth, mostly deer canines, reveal us not only symbolic, but also some important sociocultural aspects of behavior of prehistoric populations. In order to test whether there are universals in display modes and materials used in this region, we will use the finds of personal ornaments from the Upper Paleolithic strata from five Istrian sites: Ljubićeva cave, Pupićina cave, Romualdova cave, Šandalja II, and Vešanska cave.


Pleistocene, symbolic behavior, communication, ornaments, Istria

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