Small deer antler chest

UnknownIslamic Almohad Dynasty End of the 12th century, first half of the 13th century

Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ

Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ

Prismatic shaped chest with a wooden frame and decorated on the outside with carved plaques of deer antler decorated with incised geometric designs. The fittings are made of bronze, copper and brass, which make up the mounts, spear strap hinges and adornments with bird beak shaped ends with holes for nails. The remains of the lock and the key, as well as the handle have also survived.

In the early excavations carried out on la Grossa tower of the castle at Jijona, more than a hundred small bone plaques of different sizes were found together with various fragments of metal which corresponded to the fittings and hinges. These were published individually without establishing any links between them (Azuar, 1984). Later, thanks to a study by J.A. López Padilla it was discovered that they came from an antler carving workshop, in the same castle. Deer antlers in various stages of carving were found and a connection was made with the small plaques (López Padilla, 1995). The analysis of the finds has enabled the identification of the workshop and the restoration of the small chest (Azuar, López, 1997). Originally it would have been prismatic in shape, composed of a wooden frame covered with the small plaques of antler, with fittings and a lock. This style of object has been found throughout al-Andalus and dates to the end of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th century. Similar examples have been found in Alarcos (Ciudad Real), published by M. Casamar (Ciudad Real, 1995, no 128, 282-3), and in the castle of Moura (Portugal), published by S. Macías (1994, 297; Lisbon, 1998, no 66, 103).
C.S.: 8296
AZUAR, R., 1984.
AZUAR, R., LÓPEZ , J.A., 1997.
LISBON, 1998.
MACIAS, S., 1993.

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  • Title: Small deer antler chest
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Islamic Almohad Dynasty End of the 12th century, first half of the 13th century
  • Place Part Of: Jijona/Xixona (Alicante/Alacant, Spain)
  • Physical Dimensions: w11 x h26 x d10 cm
  • Finding: Castillo de la Torre Grossa, Jijona/Xixona (Alicante/Alacant, Spain)
  • Denominación: Arqueta de asta de ciervo
  • Type: Small chest reconstructed with plaques of bone and metal adornments
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante. MARQ, Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ
  • External Link: http://www.marqalicante.com/Paginas/es/CATALOGO-P270-M3.html