Forging Ahead!

EXARC Conference goes world wide!

EXARC is undertaking an unprecedented event featuring researchers in experimental archaeology from around the world. It’s an event that’s not to be missed! Rather than the usual sequence of presentations, EXARC is starting at the International Dateline and following the sun around the world with presentations beginning in Australia and continuing westwards as the day progresses. It’s a great opportunity to see presentations from people who normally wouldn’t be able to travel to the major European or North American conferences and it’s all delivered straight to your computer at home!

I’ll be presenting on Wednesday 31 March with a short film about Late Archaic copper working in the Lake Superior region of North America. It’s not generally known that there was a Copper Age in the middle of North America that occurred 5000 years ago, so I am taking the opportunity to talk about the artefacts and demonstrate a little metalworking in a short video. At the end of the session there will be time for live questions and answers.

Check out the full schedule here.


Now we’re Cooking with Gas! How experimental archaeology challenges modern assumptions about metal recycling.

New article available through EXARC. See the link below for the full article

It is accepted knowledge that when re-melting alloys, some of the metal with a lower melting temperature is lost through oxidation, and more metal must be added in order to maintain the desired alloy proportions. In order to understand the changes in alloy content when recycling using Bronze Age technology, experiments were undertaken by the author and others, using a charcoal furnace. These experiments included recycling bronze to quantify the loss of tin, and how alloys were affected by co-melting metals. The results were then compared to modern metallurgical practices using electric and gas furnaces. The initial results were presented at the Historical Metallurgy Society’s Research in Progress Conference in November of 2009. However, this paper includes further experiments that build on the earlier work. The conclusions indicate that knowledge of earlier practices was lost with the advance of technology, and that broad assumptions cannot be made about earlier technological practice based on work done with modern equipment.

Read the full article here