Bronze Age Crucibles in China: A Unique Technological Tradition and its Cultural Implications

Author(s): Siran Liu

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Craft and Technology: Knowledge of the Ancient Chinese Artisans" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Most studies of early metallurgy in China have focused on style, manufacturing techniques and alloy compositions of bronze artefacts. In rare circumstances, other sections of the bronze production Chaîne opératoire such mining, smelting and metal processing are considered. This research concentrates on early bronze processing crucibles found in a number of Bronze Age workshops in China and showcases the great potential for studying production through these remains. In contrast to other parts of Eurasia, Chinese Bronze Age crucibles were multi-layered and do not show much vitrification on interior surfaces. A few well-preserved examples ones are much taller and bigger than West Asian and European counterparts. The microscopic analyses and experimental reconstruction reveal they were made with specialized silt-rich material. A comparative investigation of crucibles in China, Near East and Europe shed new light on the early spread and localization of metallurgical technology in Eurasia.

Cite this Record

Bronze Age Crucibles in China: A Unique Technological Tradition and its Cultural Implications. Siran Liu. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450838)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 70.4; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: 146.514; max lat: 53.956 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23903