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Big insights from small things:
why personal ornaments?

It is unusual for personal ornaments to be used as a vehicle in large-scale studies integrating multiple scientific, statistical and interpretive techniques to produce broad-scale interpretations of prehistoric narratives. We believe that ornaments are a seriously under-explored resource in archaeology and this, the biggest personal ornament project undertaken in southwest Asia, offers an unprecedented opportunity, using high quality data, to explore the limits of what ornaments can offer.

Placing identities at the forefront of our research means that people come first in our interpretation of the transition to settled life. We want to focus on the human experience of a complete community rather than the monumentality of "male power", which has dominated research in the region to date.

The results of this project will add nuances to our understanding of how people behaved at some pivotal moments of prehistory. We aim to open new dialogues about identity, gender and status in a complex, colourful and dynamic prehistoric world.

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