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Non-ferrous casting molds and technical logic: What can the technical differences between the Bronze Age and Iron Age molds tell us about the technological development of metalworking?

Author(s): Daniel Sahlen

Year: 2015

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Summary

Studies of technological changes in non-ferrous casting during the shift between the Bronze and the Iron Age in Europe have particularly looked at changes of crucible manufacture or the use of different alloys, while technology of the casting mold has not been studied to the same extent.

Mainly three types of molds were used during the prehistoric period – single piece, two-piece, and investment. The first two types were made in clay, stone and occasionally metal, while investment molds were only made from clay. These differences are often discussed as a chronological evolution of technical complexity. However, all three types were used at least during the Iron Age and would have been part of the skill set of the caster; the choice of mold would rather relate to the object to be cast.

The purpose of this presentation is to use microscopic and elemental analyses to examine the technological changes of the manufacture of casting molds from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. This makes it possible to highlight technological choices and to recreate craft practice on macro- and micro-levels. Material from Scotland will be in focus, though assemblages from other parts of northern Europe will also be discussed.

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Non-ferrous casting molds and technical logic: What can the technical differences between the Bronze Age and Iron Age molds tell us about the technological development of metalworking?. Daniel Sahlen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396498)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America