This Web page provides the archives for the arch-metals mailing list. The email discussion forum is intended for use by scholars researching the history of ancient and historic metallurgy (archaeometallurgy), metal artefacts and related subjects. The list is hosted by JISCmail, the UK national academic mailing list service. Visitors to the arch-metals list can join or leave the list and view list archives, dating back to 1998; these archives can be viewed by non-list members. The list appears to be well used.
The Ban Chiang Project website provides some essential information about the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ban Chiang, Thailand, which has been excavated by a team of the University of Pennsylvania. Archaeologists have found a settlement and cemetery at Ban Chiang as well as evidence of metallurgy dated between 2100 BC to AD 300. Archaeometallurgical analyses have demonstrated that the ancient smiths preferred bronze to pure copper already from the Early period. Short articles are available on metallurgy and crucibles. An article shows some examples of "rollers", a small artefact frequently found with different decorations in tombs; its function is still uncertain. There is a large and updated bibliography as well as several galleries of pictures (slideshows). This website may be useful to both students and researchers. A separate website by the same research group provides further information for researchers.
This website publishes preliminary reports of the excavations at Shiqmim, Israel. At the time of review the website only contains some papers in PDF format. These include "Desert Chiefdom: Dimensions of Subterranean Settlement and Society in Israel's Negev Desert (ca. 4500-3600 BC) Based on New Data from Shiqmim"; "A Method for Skeletal Arsenic Analysis, Applied to the Chalcolithic Copper Smelting Site of Shiqmim, Israel" (inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, ICP-MS); "Recent Discoveries Concerning Chalcolithic Metallurgy at Shiqmim, Israel" (a smelting installation distinct from crucibles and evidence for copper production at Mezad Aluf are reported); and "Evidence of Interpersonal Violence at the Chalcolithic Village of Shiqmim (Israel)", where three circumscribed depressed fractures found on the skull of an adolescent boy and leading to his death are discussed. Researchers may find this website useful.
"The Bronze Age in Europe" integrates three resources that concentrate on the Dutch Bronze Age, the first farmers in the Netherlands, and the Gallic Wars. Each resource can still be independently accessed. However, many pages dedicated to unrelated topics are essentially summaries of archaeological news and represent extemporaneous interests of the author. Such pages contribute to a general impression of overall disorganisation and invoke caution in reading parts of this website. The framed version, accessible by clicking on "English version," is most convenient as it divides the most valuable contents from the miscellanea of notes and news. Although this is clearly a personal site, best described as a patchwork of summaries from attended lectures, snippets of books, some original contents at graduate level and many pictures, it still is a valuable resource for information on Dutch prehistoric archaeology and related topics. For instance, no single book would be able to tie together richly illustrated presentations of the sites of Alesia and Bibracte, pages on the Eburones, the Gallic wars, pictures of Gallic artefacts, a Gaulish-English dictionary and the whole De Bello Gallico by Caesar. The author has worked at an Iron Age settlement in the Netherlands and has experience in experimental archaeology. The latter experience is especially evident in the several pages about the author's experimental activities in prehistoric metallurgy, available in his reports on bronze casting, with drawings explaining the various processes and pictures illustrating key moments in the experimentations.
This Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust website contains a description of a rapid survey of all of the non-ferrous metal and phosphate mines and some of the more significant locatable trials in Clwyd and Powys. The aim of the survey was to provide a summary of the surviving physical evidence of mines and to promote better management and conservation of the remains. A brief history of mining in the area is presented along with a map and some photographs of the remains of abandoned mines. There is also a link to the wider Metal Mines survey of the area, and to a summary of the Council for British Archaeology report.
GeoArch offers a consultancy service for the analysis and interpretation of ferrous and non-ferrous ancient metallurgical residues and their relation to archaeological geophysics. The website gives brief details on current geoarchaeological projects and geophysics surveys. A section covers experimental work being carried out on iron smelting and charcoal burning giving lists of all smelting experiments with their operating parameters. This website may be useful primarily to professional archaeologists or undergraduate students.
The Historical Metallurgy Society UK seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of information and research about the history of metallurgy and archaeometallurgy. The Society organises an annual residential conference as well as meetings and lectures. They produce the journal 'Historical Metallurgy' (published annually in two parts), a newsletter, symposium reports, and various books. The contents pages of the journal may be viewed on line, although the full-text version is only available in print to Society members. Submission guidelines are provided. Included on the website are guides to historical and archaeological resources, both online and off, and a series of archaeology 'datasheets' to download (in PDF format), which provide introductions to the various kinds of artefacts and evidential remains relevant to the study of metallurgy. The Society also offers student grants to facilitate research into historical metallurgy, details of which are posted on the website. A membership application form may be downloaded from the site.
The website of the Institute of Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies (IAMS), an international research body which since 1973 has promoted the study of the origins and developments of metallurgy within its cultural and historical context from the earliest period to recent times. The website sketches the background to previous research in ancient metallurgy and provides a useful chronicle of IAMS-sponsored projects in major metal producing areas of the ancient world, including the Sinai, the Negev (particularly at Timna in the Arabah Valley), south-western Britain and the Rio Tinto Valley in Spain, together with a guide to current research and teaching and an index of the Trustees and Scientific Committee of the Institute. Modern research into the technical and cultural history of ancient metal working began with the exploration of the Arabah Valley in the Negev region of Israel by Nelson Glueck in the 1930s and 1940s, work which was popularised as the location of 'King Solomon's Mines'. Work here, particularly at Timna, but also in the southern Sinai peninsula by Beno Rothenberg and the IAMS since the 1950s revealed a flourishing history of copper production extending from 6000 BC to the Islamic period which reached its peak during the large-scale processing of metal under the Egyptian New Kingdom (c1550-1150 BC). While the relationship (if any) of Timna with the biblical Solomon remains unproven, IAMS has also supported a major project on the role of metals in Biblical and Talmudic literature. The website also includes a concise news sheet and information on IAMS publications and the annual summer school organised by the Institute. This useful resource will benefit students and researchers interested in the archaeology and history of ancient metal production and technology in general, particularly in Egypt and the Levant.
A useful cultural and technical analysis of various aspects of iron manufacturing by Xander Veldhuijzen of University College London combined with up-to-date insights on recent archaeological work on metallurgical sites in Israel and Jordan. Based largely on his MA thesis and several recent publications in scholarly journals, this website offers: a technical and chemical introduction to the physical processes surrounding the extraction, smelting and refining of iron production; a detailed and fascinating cross-cultural account of iron making in traditional non-Western (mostly African) communities; a history of iron production in the Near East based on previous research followed by an account of the author's recent research and fieldwork at Tell Hammeh az-Zarqa in Jordan and Beth Shemesh in Israel. Each section includes extensive bibliographies of recent and classic readings on this subject while the links page connects the reader to a host of sites of archaeo-metallurgical interest as well some of the author's personal reflections on the problems of archaeological research in Israel/ Palestine during the recent political troubles. This clearly written and attractively presented resource will benefit students and researchers of in Near Eastern studies as well as archaeologists and other scholars interested in the history of metal technology.
Lead mining has been practised in the Yorkshire Dales for some 2000 years. This website is a beginners guide to the history and archaeology of lead mining in the Yorkshire Dales and illustrates the main types of remains likely to be encountered. Well illustrated pages show the visible remains resulting from lead extraction, processing, and smelting. There are pages on water features, ancillary buildings, transport and underground workings. A map shows the location of the major lead veins and offers guided tours around the workings of the Grassington, Yarnbury and Hebden Moor Mines; Cononley Mine and the workings at Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. A brief history describes lead mining from the Roman period on. There is a also a short glossary of terms, bibliography, links to other websites about mines and a short biography of the author, Martin Roe. The "Virtual Tour" of the mines is a good illustrated gazetteer of the mines. Both students and researchers may find this website useful.
The Oxford Materials Science-Based Archaeology Group is concerned with the investigation of all aspects of the metallurgical process, from smelting to metal finishing, and from the first use of alloys in the 5th/4th millennia BC to the Industrial Revolution. The website gives abstracts of current research projects, a full list of publications by the group and abstracts of some of the publications. There is an extensive archaeo-metallurgical bibliography. A 'Databases' section presents maps of iron-working in Great Britain for all periods, the Iron Age and the Roman period and various bibliographies relating to archaeo-metallurgy. Researchers in particular may find this website useful.
Copper-bearing ore deposits in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus have been worked repeatedly over the past four thousand years. The metallurgical activities at Phorades concentrated during the Late Bronze Age, within a short interval of time. This website provides a history of the excavations carried out by the University of Glasgow in 1997 and 1998 at Phorades in the northern foothills of the Troodos range. Archaeologists have recovered 2.5 tons of slag, hundreds of furnace fragments, thirty almost complete tuyères and hundreds of tuyère fragments, resulting in Phorades being a key site for the understanding of smelting in Late Bronze Age Cyprus. Cyprus was a principal source of copper during the Late Bronze Age, and mining areas are well known, yet only a few smelting sites have been found. Students will find an interesting overview of the Late Bronze Age copper industry of Cyprus in this website.
The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Research Grants scheme.
This website focuses on the Cypriote site of Pyrgos Mavoraki, which is being excavated by a team of Italian archaeologists led by Maria Rosaria Belgiorno. Pyrgos Mavoraki dates to the Early and Middle Bronze Age and has appeared in the news for its metallurgical workshops, where olive oil was used as fuel; an established industry of perfumed oil seems also proven. A page illustrated with large colour pictures outlines the history of the excavations and contains contact details of the excavator. There are also some notes on the palaeoenvironment and results of radiocarbon analyses. Individual pages concentrate on the different productive activities that have been recognised in the archaeological record: metallurgy (with full downloadable posters containing short texts, pictures and graphs); perfumes; textiles (short paper illustrated with colour pictures); wine; a personal section containing "free thoughts". At the time of review large parts of the website were still under construction, but what is available exceeds the expectations of a preliminary report. Pyrgos Mavoraki appears to have been an important site for the manufacture of luxury products and it is a great opportunity for the general public, students and researchers to follow the discoveries with little delay. The website is supported by the National Research Council of Italy, the Italian Foreign Office and the Municipality of Pyrgos-Limassol, Cyprus.
This website by a research group at the University of Pennsylvania publishes some datasets that will be useful primarily to specialist researchers. The datasets include skeletal data from the cemetery of Ban Chiang, an important ancient site in northern Thailand and a World Heritage Site; a bibliographic database. A metallurgical data should be added in the near future (not yet available at the time of review). The skeletal data include an updated version of the CD-ROM published with the book "Ban Chiang, a Prehistoric Village Site in Northeast Thailand I: The Human Skeletal Remains" by Michael Pietrusewsky and Michele Toomay Douglas (ISBN 0924171928) and data from Non Nok produced by Michele Toomay Douglas for her doctoral dissertation. All datasets are available in both Microsoft Access 2000 database and comma-delimited text formats and appropriate notes for the interpretation of the data are available on the download page. The osteological data include several measurements; cranial capacities; data on teeth and dental pathologies; pathological conditions and evidence of osteoarthritis. To access the bibliographic database it is necessary a registration for technical reasons, but it is very quick and no personal data are required. The database is frequently updated and includes journal articles; doctoral dissertations; edited books; monographs; and reviews focusing on the whole of Asia, including India; Thailand; Malaysia; Indonesia; China; Polynesia; Japan; and the Philippines; some papers can also be downloaded in PDF format. This is a very useful website for researchers interested in the archaeology of South-East Asia.
This is currently the main website for the 1,500-item Staffordshire Hoard. The Hoard is a very large and significant find of Anglo-Saxon worked gold and silver, discovered by a metal detectorist in a mid Staffordshire field in 2009. The find was saved for the nation through public fund-raising in 2010, and will be permanently displayed in Stoke-on-Trent (the collecting authority museum) and Birmingham in the UK. At June 2010 the website has: an archive of the initial press and media materials; details of the partners working to conserve and buy the Hoard; a questions and answers page; potted biographies of the individuals concerned; and an interactive slide show of the excavation of a village of the period. The most useful parts of the website for scholars will be found via the Artefacts page - an initial 'Catalogue of the objects in the hoard' which is available for download as a PDF file. This catalogue is accompanied by a 659 image gallery of the Hoard.
The "Valley of the First Iron Masters" website appeared as a result of a year long Heritage Lottery Funded project of the University of Hull to create an interactive resource for the archaeology of the Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire, which has been subject to detailed survey since 1980. The area is described as being the home to one of Britain's largest prehistoric iron industries. The website concentrates on the prehistoric and Roman periods in this geographic location and is an extensive source of information, including data from fieldwork, the local Sites and Monuments Record and the Portable Antiquities Database. The website is also a rich resource for images including photographs of excavations, artefacts, sites and aerial photographs as well as site reconstructions and animations. A database sits behind the website and there are various ways that the data can be accessed. An interactive map allows you to view the study area with the locations of finds and archaeological sites for each different period overlaid. Layers can be switched on and off as necessary and zooming and panning tools are provided to explore the map. Clicking on a site on the map brings up further details from the database with images and links to related resources. This same data can also be accessed through a text search, when browsing by theme or being guided round the site by one of the characters supplied. The resource is aimed at three different user groups: school children, teenagers and the general public and undergraduate researchers. Each group is offered a slightly different view into the website: basic; intermediate; and research. Whereas the first two user groups are given the option of guided tours of the website and exploring the data through different themes (based on the National Curriculum), the research level provides more detailed information and includes references for further study. The website as a whole is well presented though navigation is difficult. The full menu bar of links is available from the top of the front page alone making it necessary to continually return to the front page when attempting to navigate through the pages.