7th Experimental Archaeology Conference Poster Abstract – Lackinger et al
Copper Plus Tin Plus People: Public Co-smelting Experimentation in Northwestern Iberia.
Aaron Lackinger, Beatriz Comendador1, Elin Figueredo2, M. Fátima Araújo2, Rui Silva3, Salvador Rovira4
1 GEAAT , Universidade de Vigo
2 Instituto Superior Técnico/Universidade Técnica de Lisboa
3 Departamento de Ciências dos Materiais, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
4 Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
The reconstruction of the chaîne opératoire of prehistoric tin bronzes from the north-western Iberian Peninsula has been discussed mainly based on theoretical proposals. In recent times some relevant information based on the analytical study of the archaeological contexts of production has given some new insights on the subject.
We have made an initial experimental approach of one of the proposed models for obtaining bronze, the co-reduction of copper and tin ores. One of the main aims was to gain knowledge, through experimental methods, about the chaîne opératoire of bronze production in north-west peninsular prehistory – an area where signs of early metallurgical production have long been well-known.
The development of this initial experiment turns around had a series of aims, namely:
- The realization of a co-reduction experiment associated with a specific chronological moment and geographical area, using minerals originating in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula.
- The empirical corroboration of theoretical proposals from archaeological evidences.
- Analytical studies of the smelting products, such as metallic prills, slags and others, to infer about the success of the experiment and obtain data for future comparison with archaeological evidence.
- Full development of educational and outreach potential within the process of knowledge transfer, by the conversion of the experiment into a public experience. This involved the participation of diverse implicated discourses (craftwork, chemistry, archaeology).
In this poster we present an initial approximation of the results of the experimental co-reduction which will serve as a foundation for new proposals and projects.