Diadem from Caravaca de la Cruz

Diadema de Caravaca de la Cruz Pulse para ampliar Diadema de Caravaca de la Cruz. Sala 9, vitrina 9.4

The social importance of gold

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This gold diadem was found in Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia) and it very probably comes from a burial. It is a unique piece for its manufacturing material, gold, as all the diadems found in the tombs of metal-working Argar culture settlements, though similar in form, are made of silver. For this reason, archaeologists have interpreted it as a luxury object reserved solely for women, as it appears in a female burial, who used it to publicly display their power and social prestige.

The rings, bracelets and necklaces of gold, silver or ivory, with which important members of the Argaric community—men and women alike—adorned themselves and were buried, have also been interpreted in this sense. These symbolic elements were visual reminders of the social distinctions that characterised these hierarchically organised societies.

The power of these social elite stemmed from the fact that they controlled agricultural and metallurgical production, long-distance trade and the defence of the villagers.