Exploring Production Methods of Casting Molds and the Artisans who Made Them

Author(s): Wen Yin Cheng; Chen Shen

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.

The production of Shang dynasty bronze vessels is based on the artisans’ mastery of loess material and how they manipulated them to produce the casting molds. From the beginning stage of raw material procurement to the firing of the molds, these steps all left marks in the molds’ microstructure and physical build up. The key to our understanding of bronze vessel production lies in the production of bronze molds, but also in cases where the artisans left their marks. In order to see the artisans through their work, the ideal artifacts to analyze are the molds themselves, the marks left behind and preserved within the loess. These tell the story of the artisans and their relationship with the raw materials. Through petrographic analysis of the molds housed at the Royal Ontario Museum, the correlation between the various steps of production and the artisans who made them can be further discussed.

Cite this Record

Exploring Production Methods of Casting Molds and the Artisans who Made Them. Wen Yin Cheng, Chen Shen. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450843)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23464