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Abstract

Red deer canine ornaments have been known since the Upper Paleolithic as symbolic markers of the status of the possessor. A recent discovery made at the Iron Age cremation necropolis of Valea Stânii (Romania) probably provides the latest prehistoric occurence of this type of personal ornament. This find was part of the grave goods in the burial in barrow no. 4, a double grave (an adult woman and a subadult individual of unidentified sex). Among the cremated bones of the subadult individual were 16 personal adornments made of red deer antler, imitating red deer canines. Most likely, the ornaments were sewn on the funeral clothes. Such imitations of red deer canines indicate the transmission of certain cultural traditions, perhaps related to prestige and representation, over the millennia until the end of the Iron Age in Eastern Europe.

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