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The Dog Whelk Nucella lapillus and Dye Extraction Activities From the Iron Age to the Middle Ages Along the Atlantic Coast of France

Abstract : In Europe, the extraction of dyes from marine shells found in archaeological contexts is little known outside the Mediterranean area. Although smaller than the Mediterranean species with dyeing properties, the dog whelk Nucella lapillus and the oyster drill Ocenebra erinaceus canbe indicative of dyeing activities. Theyare regularly found broken in archaeological contexts in France and Ireland, where their presence can indicate an important economic activity of the coastal inhabitants. In this article, I summarize the archaeological data for this activity along the Channel and Atlantic coasts of France, including localization of these deposits and their chronology, composition of the shell middens, typology of fragments of shell, and presence of other activities. The application of biometrics to dog whelks from one site, ZA du Pladreau, yields information on the way in which the shells were selected first on the seashore, and second at the place of pigment extraction.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01147562
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:54:50 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 6, 2020 - 5:09:52 PM

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Catherine Dupont. The Dog Whelk Nucella lapillus and Dye Extraction Activities From the Iron Age to the Middle Ages Along the Atlantic Coast of France. JOURNAL OF ISLAND & COASTAL ARCHAEOLOGY, 2011, 6 (1), pp.3-23. ⟨10.1080/15564894.2011.542070⟩. ⟨hal-01147562⟩

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