Opendata, web and dolomites


Making and wearing semi-PRECIOUS stone beads in the Near East and the Nile Valley during the Neolithic: A biographical perspective and microwear approach

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PRECIOUS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PRECIOUS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PRECIOUS" about.

csm    collection    sense    contexts    technique    cal    references    individuals    precious    societies    uses    reconstructed    microtopographic    functions    discovered    preforms    east    modalities    4th    manufacturing    ornaments    nubian    techno    scenarios    8th    ethnographic    events    neolithic    chronocultural    repairing    bc    prehistoric    emergence    statistically    microwear    first    techniques    levels    archaeological    experimental    sites    little    drilling    yemen    near    stone    texture    cultural    sex    nile    understand    age    biological    surface    social    neolithisation    mill    farming    accidents    microscopy    communities    body    technicity    metrology    proposes    consumption    maintenance    valley    approached    time    eastern    finishing    geochemical    beads    organization    complemented    place    methodology    semi    software    biographies    bead    created    symbolic    tackle    analysed    explored    beyond    workshops    document    precision    india    subject    behaviours    material    burials    data    wearing    comparisons    confocal    quality    recycling    scanning    carnelian   

Project "PRECIOUS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: CALLE SERRANO 117
city: MADRID
postcode: 28006

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Total cost 172˙932 €
 EC max contribution 172˙932 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-02-01   to  2022-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Beyond their symbolic functions, body ornaments offer crucial information to tackle the social organization of the past societies and to address their techno-cultural behaviours. In this sense, PRECIOUS is dedicated to the study of the first semi-precious stone beads in the Near East and the Nile Valley. The major aim is to understand the production and the consumption systems of these beads during the Neolithisation and the emergence of the farming communities (8th-4th mill. cal. BC). Beads discovered in burials from major Near Eastern and Nubian archaeological sites will be analysed through a microwear approach complemented by geochemical analyses. For the first time in the field of stone ornaments, high-precision surface texture analysis will be applied using the technique of the Confocal Scanning Microscopy (CSM) and metrology software. The “biographies” of the archaeological beads (manufacturing techniques, modalities of uses including accidents, repairing or recycling events) will be reconstructed through microtopographic analyses and comparisons with ethnographic and experimental references. A challenging experimental collection of references will be created as stone bead preforms will first document several drilling and finishing techniques, and then be subject to different scenarios of uses. The ethnographic material available are carnelian beads produced by traditional workshops in Yemen and India. To address the place of semi-precious stone beads within the Neolithic societies, the quality of production (levels of technicity) and maintenance will be assessed and statistically compared with well-defined chronocultural contexts and biological data available for the individuals wearing the ornaments (age, sex). The PRECIOUS project will greatly advance the research on prehistoric ornaments as it proposes the study of a little explored topic with a dedicated multi-approached methodology.

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The information about "PRECIOUS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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