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.

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

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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