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Metal residues in 5th c. BCE-13th c. CE Estonian tools for non-ferrous metal casting
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, USA.
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2001-1199, Vol. 19, p. 35-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates Estonian tools for non-ferrous metal casting in the form of crucibles, moulds, and casting ladles dating to the Estonian Iron Age (500 BCE-1227 CE), adding elemental analysis and 3D modelling to the traditional typological comparison. In contrast to the neighbouring countries of Russia, Latvia, and Sweden, no comprehensive study has previously been published on this subject for Estonian material. The typological analysis sets Iron Age Estonia in the same metalworking tradition as that of other eastern Baltic countries and Northwestern Russia. However, some classes of casting tools present in Scandinavian and Slavonic areas have so far not been encountered in the Estonian archaeological record. The elemental analysis included qualitative pXRF analysis of 175 artefacts and detailed residue analysis using SEM-EDS of thirteen selected artefacts. This analysis identified for the first time Estonian Iron Age casting tools - crucibles - used for casting gold and silver. Most of the investigated crucibles were used for casting various copper alloys, while the casting ladles and most of the stone moulds were used for casting pewter. Casting of pewter and precious metals only occurred in regional centres such as hill forts and strongholds, while copper alloys were cast in all parts of Estonia. In addition to clarifying fundamental questions about Estonian Iron Age metal casting, this study also lays a foundation for using modern analytical techniques in future investigations of Estonian metalworking traditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 19, p. 35-51
Keywords [en]
Technical ceramics, Crucibles, Moulds, Casting ladles, pXRF, SEM-EDS, Archaeometallurgy
National Category
History and Archaeology Materials Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158288DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.01.015ISI: 000436622400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158288DiVA, id: diva2:1236081
Available from: 2018-07-31 Created: 2018-07-31 Last updated: 2018-07-31Bibliographically approved

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Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
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