SAS Bulletin
Volume 19 Number 1/2 January /June 1996


News of Archaeometallurgy


An International Conference on Metals in Antiquity, followed by a Workshop on Metals Analysis in Archaeology, will be held 10 13 September 1997 at Harvard University. Information is available from the conference organizers: Suzanne M. M. Young, Archaeometry Laboratories, Harvard University, Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138 USA, email: Syoung@FAS.Harvard.Edu; or Dr. Paul Budd, Ancient Metallurgy Research Group, Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK, telephone: 44-1274-383554, fax: 44-1274-385190, email: P.Budd@bradford.ac.uk, internet: http://www.brad.ac.uk/~pdbudd/personal.html.

The fifth symposium in the series Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology (MIAA-V) will be held at the Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society in Boston, December 2 6. Changes in addition to the East Coast location include the addition of John Merkel of the Institute of Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies to the Technical Organizing Committee. Meeting information from the Materials Research Society, 9800 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh PA 15237, USA; telephone (412) 367-3003, fax (412) 367-4373. The organizers are James R. Druzick, The Getty Conservation Institute, 4503 Glencoe Avenue, Marina Del Ray CA 90292-7913, USA; telephone (310) 822-2299, fax (310) 821-9409, email: jdruzik@getty.edu; Pamela B. Vandiver, Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution MRC 534, Washington DC 20560, USA, telephone (301) 238-3700x162, fax (301) 238-3709, email: pbv@cal.si.edu; John Merkel, IAMS, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK, telephone 44 71 286-5849, fax 44 71 383-2572; and John Stewart, Historic Conservation Branch, Canadian Heritage, 1800 Walkley Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0M5 Canada, telephone (613) 993-2125, fax (613) 993-9796, email: JOHN_STEWART@PCH.GC.CA.

The Thirteenth International Bronze Conference was held in May at Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Harvard University, the first time the Bronze Conference has been held outside Europe. This series of meetings was the outcome of a symposium on Classical bronzes jointly sponsored by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 whose proceedings were published in 1970 under the title of Art and Technology. The 13th Bronze Symposium was focused on several topics. One was the technical illustration of casting statuary as depicted on the Berlin Foundry Cup (which was on exhibit), and another the various materials inlaid in bronzes, the metal inlays including tin as well as silver and copper. But most important was a kind of "paradigm shift" as that was defined by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago 1962): where once it was agreed that classical Greek statues were the originals and the copies were Roman, the concept of a kind of mass production of classical Greek bronze statuary is now being accepted. The method of production indirect lost-wax casting allowed reworking of details in the wax, and the joining of separately-cast body parts from different sets of master molds to assemble similar but not identical castings a process illustrated on the Foundry Cup.

The accompanying exhibition, The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronze Statuary from North American Collections was organized by Carol Mattusch in collaboration with Henry Lie. It is at the Toledo Museum of Art until January 5th, and moves to the Tampa Museum of Art February 2nd to April 13th. The catalog by Carol C. Mattusch (ISBN 0-916724-89-1, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Art Museums 1996) includes essays by Arthur Beale, A.E. Raubitschek, Blanche R. Brown, Beryl Barr-Sharrar, Brunhilde Sismondo Ridgway, and Andrew Oliver, as well as much technical information such as analyses, detail photographs, radiographs, and scanning electron micrographs. Further information can be obtained from Amy Brauer, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138, USA; email: brauer@husc.harvard.edu.

The sequel to Greek Bronze Statuary from the Beginnings through the Fifth Century B.C. (ISBN 0-8014-2148-9, Ithaca 1988) by Carol C. Mattusch was published in time for the Bronze Conference. It is her Classical Bronzes: the Art and Craft of Greek and Roman Statuary (ISBN 0-8014-3182-4, Ithaca and London 1996), which contains much evidence illustrating the serial production of bronze statuary. The email address for Professor Mattusch is mattusch@osfl.gmu.edu. A background for these developments is presented in Michail Yu. Treister's heavily footnoted but less well organized The Role of Metals in Ancient Greek History (ISBN 90-04-10473-9, E. J. Brill 1996), where Treister makes the point that the movement toward professionalization of warfare in the Fourth Century BC, needing to stock armories and mint pay for mercenaries, led to the adoption of mass production in metal. In 1993 an exhibition and seminar was held in the Basque country, at Banca. This is the site of copper and silver-bearing copper mines and a large copper foundry, closed after the French Revolution. A major iron works was built in the early 19th century after an attempt at operating a Catalan forge, then mining for copper and silver resumed later in the century. The earliest date for mining activity at this site has not been determined. The seminar proceedings, Mines et ătablissements mătallurgiques de Banca, have been edited by Pierre Machot and run to more than 400 pages; copies are available for US$40, including shipping, from J&D Editions, 18 rue de Folin, 64200 Biarritz, France.

The Archaeotechnology column in JOM, the Journal of the Mining, Metals, and Materials Society conducted by Robert M. Ehrenreich presented "Archaeometallurgy and the analysis of early sociotechnical systems" by Robert M. Ehrenreich in the July 1996 issue, pages 62 63, and "Roman-era copper production at the Cerro Muriano smelter" by Rafael Calabrăs Molina, Antonio Josă Criado Portal, Juan Antonio Mart░nez Garcia and Josă Jacobo Storch de Gracia, translated by Adrian Burton, in the September 1996 issue, pages 68-70.

James Thorburn plans a mining study tour to India this winter. Write Atalaya Tours Ltd., Ceinionfa, Capel Dewi, Aberystwyth SY23 3HR, UK; telephone/fax: 44 1970 82 89 89.

There is now a Jewellery Discovery Centre in England. Located in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, it is the starting point for a tour around the old workshops of Smith and Pepper, who had manufactured jewelry and silver since 1899. The tour is conducted by a former member of their staff.

Dr. Sariel Shalev has completed his work at Oxford and has obtained a position in the Archaeology Department of the University of Haifa, where he will be able to cooperate in archaeological metallurgy with the Weizmann Institute.

If you have archaeometallurgical news to share or comments to make, please write or call:

Martha Goodway, Smithsonian Institution MRC 534, Washington DC 20560 USA; tel. 301-238-3700 x164; fax 301-238-3709; e-mail: cal.meg@ic.si.edu.


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