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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Exploring the nature of status and the role of individuals in society is central to understanding social organization. This chapter critically examines current models of how wealth and status were expressed and maintained in Iron Age Europe, and considers evidence for the existence of occupation groups, classes, and specialists. Topics examined include links between status and display of wealth in votive deposition and richly adorned burials, the roles of feasting, conspicuous consumption, and monumentality, and how these may reflect hierarchical or heterarchical forms of social organization. The period saw increasing evidence for specialist roles in spheres such as craftworking, production, mining, and exchange, as well as in ritual and warfare. Some Iron Age communities, however, lacked obvious social specialism and the archaeological evidence points to small-scale modes of household production. Links between gender, age, status, and social roles are also explored.

Keywords: wealth, differentiation, status, specialization, social structure, production, deposition

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