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Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 13:03:42 +0100
From: Peter Northover <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Metals session at EAA meeting, Esslingen, Germany
Sender: Arch-Metals Group <[log in to unmask]>
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Reply-To: Arch-Metals Group <[log in to unmask]>
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At the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in
Esslingen, Germany, 19th-23rd September, 2001, there will be a session
considering the way in which metal was understod and valued by past
societies. The session abstract follows:

Perceiving Metals

The study of prehistoric metals and metalwork, both archaeological
and  metallurgical has tended to focus on production and deposition.
Production has been followed from mining through smelting to the
manufacture of artefacts, with often an emphasis on provenance and
trade. Meanwhile, consideration of deposition has addressed rather
broad issues of context with an emphasis on ritual and symbolic aspects
of the process. This session is designed to explore some rather more
fundamental aspects of metal in prehistoric societies based on notions
of how metal was perceived and valued. For example, how much was metal
seen as having an intrinsic value so that quantity could be used as a
measure of  wealth and how much  was value added by conversion to more
of less elaborate artefacts, in terms of their appearance and finish,
and in terms of their functionality. Where prestige products have
obviously high inputs of labour and skill, for example the sheet bronze
shields and cauldrons of Britain how was their manufacture commissioned
and sponsored? Where the fabrication of artefact required specialist
supplies that were outside the normal supply chain by what transactions
were they acquired? When metal was being deposited what condition was
the artefact in, and was the metal at that stage seen as having a value?

We wish to encourage speculation and new ideas on these themes.
We believe that by pursuing them the contributions of archaeology and
metallurgy to the understanding of ancient metalwork will become better
integrated, and that a much fuller understanding of the place of metal
of the place of metal in ancient societies and economies will be

Dr Peter Northover                           Dorothee Bruns
Materials Science-Based Archaeology Group,   M.Phil. Rsearch Student
Dept. of Materials, University of Oxford     St Cross College, Oxford
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If any list members are thinking of attending the meeting and would
like to contribute to the session please send a short abstract to
either of the organisers.

Dr Peter Northover
Dr Peter Northover,
Materials Science-Based Archaeology Group,
Dept. of Materials, University of Oxford,
Begbroke Business and Science Park,
Sandy Lane,
Oxford,  OX5 1PF
Tel. 01865 283721; Fax. 01865 841943; Mobile 07785 501745
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Chris Salter
JXA-8800 Superprobe, Electron Microscopy Facility
Department of Materials,
Begbroke Business and Science Park,
Sandy Lane,
Oxford OX5 1PF,
Tel. Office 01865 283722
     Probe  01865 283741
Fax.        01865 848790
Mobile. 0777 6031608
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