"The vast majority of European archaeological heritage during later Prehistory consists in ephemeral, scattered and scarcely stratified evidence. The research agenda on this topic lacks disciplinary debate and is based on out-of-date, isolationist and stagnant perspectives. This research proposal constitutes an advanced training-through-research project, which aims to invigorate and update the theoretical and methodological approaches applied to these issues, challenging several taken-for-granted assumptions through a non-positivist and non-determinist viewpoint. These goals will be reached through a timely work plan which implements a multi-scalar, diachronic strategy focused on central Iberia archaeological record as a case study, and is designed to integrate two complementary and interlinked scales of enquiry: 1) a micro-scale approach to material culture (taphonomic, use-wear, erosion and archaeometric studies) and 2) a macro-scale focus on the spatial dimension of connectivity between people, things and places (re-fitting studies). Data will be collected for Bell Beaker and Later Bronze Age pottery (2600-1000 BC) to provide technological, cultural “biographical” and depositional information from several well-documented case studies, thus characterising the social practices involved in their production, use and discard (e.g. their deliberate fragmentation and dispersion across the landscape). The use of Geographic Information Systems and inferential statistics will improve the testing of innovative hypotheses at both intra-site and inter-site levels, to complement the available functional and stylistic data. Thus, the study of the actual technological skills, lifespan trajectories, and depositional patterns (both intentional and unintended) involved in the formation of the later prehistoric materiality, will allow to reassess the meaning of pan-European phenomena like pit digging or the Beaker as active participants in these cultural practices"
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