SAS Bulletin

Volume 20   Number 1/2   January /June 1997


Martha Goodway, Associate Editor



The 31st International Symposium on Archaeometry at the Hungarian National Museum has been announced for 27 April-1 May 1998. The conference fee will be about US$200, US$80 for students. Abstracts are due November 1, 1997. Write Katalin T. Biró, Hungarian National Museum, Department of Information, H-1450 Budapest Pf. 124, Hungary; tel/fax 36-1-210-1338; email Downloadable forms and the latest information on Archaeometry ë98 is available on the World Wide Web at

    The Fourth International Conference on the Beginning of the Use of Metals and Alloys - BUMA IV - has been announced by the Japan Institute of Metals for 25-27 May 1998 in Matsue, Shimane, Japan. There will be a field tour on May 28 and 29. Preliminary registration can be made immediately to: BUMA IV Secretariat, Prof. Hiroyuki Katayama, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Shimane University, Nishi Kawazucho 1060, Matsue, 690 Japan; telephone 81-852-32-6517, fax 81-852-32-6598, email: Do not forget to include your address and fax number. One-hundred-word abstracts are due 30 June 1997. Registration will be Y40,000 reduced to Y30,000 if received by March 1998. Complete information is posted on the World Wide Web at:

    The 1997 Archaeological Sciences conference, Archaeological Sciences ë97, has been announced by the Department of Archaeology of the University of Durham for the 2nd to 4th of September. The subject matter is quite broad, ranging from human evolution and biochemical analysis to geoarchaeology. The address for further information is: South Road, Durham DH1 3LE UK; telephone 44-191-3743625; fax 44-191-3743619; email


    The proceedings of the previous meeting, held at Liverpool, Archaeological Sciences 1995, edited by A.G.M. Sinclair, E.A. Slater, and J.A.J. Gowlett, was published last November in two volumes; each volume is priced at £35.00 and can be obtained from Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN, UK; fax 44-1865-794449.
    Donald B. Wagnerís new book is The Traditional Chinese Iron Industry and its Modern Fate, which explores the economic history of the Chinese traditional iron industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. It includes a discussion of the results of traditional methods of iron production during the Great Leap Forward of 1958-9 and the author points out some of partial successes in what is generally conceded to have been a massive failure. A version can be seen on World Wide Web at The book (ISBN 0-7007-0951-7) is in hardcover, has 128 pages and is published by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen and Curzon Press, London. Limited quantities are available until August at half price, £17.50, from the Nordic Institute. They accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard. Orders can be sent to
    A monograph on the archaeological corrosion of bronze has been published by the The Central Board of National Antiquities and the National Historical Museums in Sweden as Konserveringstekniska Studier Rapport RIK 10: Deterioration of Archaeological Material in Soil: Results on Bronze Artefacts, by Einar Mattson, Anders G. Nord, Kate Tronner, Moniker Fjästad, Agneta Lagerlöf, Inga Ullén and Gunnar Ch. Borg. They have examined artefacts and the soil from which they were excavated as well and subjected their data to multivariate statistical analysis. There is also a section on deterioration of objects in collections. The book is in English and is available (ISBN 91-7209-014-6, ISSN 1101-4725) for 300SeK from Riksantikvarieämbetet Informationsavdelningen Förlagsenheten, Box 5405, S-114 84 Stockholm, Sweden.
    The Archaeotechnology section in the JOM, the Journal of the Mining, Metals, and Materials Society conducted by Robert Ehrenreich presented ìMining communities in history: an Industrial legacyî in the December 1996 issue (pp. 54-56). This is his report of the conference in July on the social, spacial and ideological foundations of mining that was organized by Bernard Knapp, Vincent C. Pigott and David Killick in Bellagio, Italy.
    In the March 1997 issue Carol Meyer of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago presented ìBir Umm Fawakhir: insights into ancient Egyptian miningî (pp. 64-67.) The site is located in the desert east of Luxor and is (for Egypt) rather late, dating to the 4th and 5th centuries AD in the Coptic (Byzantine) period, though there is evidence of earlier exploitation. Meyerís survey shows a mining settlement estimated to have supported as many as a thousand workers, and gold values well below mines of the pharaonic period, strongly suggesting that these had already been mined out. A hypertext-enhanced version of her article can be found at
    In the May issue (pp. 61-65) Thomas L. Sanders reports in ìManufacturing the American ax: radical technological changeîon blacksmithing experiments that shed light on the development in the early 19th century of the wedge axe from its European antecedents. It is based on his masterís thesis at the University of Minnesota, and includes measurements of time, material and fuel consumption that have the surprising result that a Merovingian axe used the least amount of fuel but was the most wasteful of iron, while the American wedge axe required significantly more time and fuel, but was the most economical of iron of the three types forged. Their efficiency was measured in cm/min of standing Siberian elms cut, with the wedge axe 46 percent more efficient than the European axe. Saunders is at Historic Fort Snelling, Fort Snelling History Center, St Paul MN 55111; telephone 612-726-1171; fax 6122-726-2429; email
    The Archaeotechnology section is now available on the web at:. If you have questions or wish to contribute you can reach the series coordinator at:
    ìScience and art converge at the National Gallery of Artî by L. Glinsman and D. Barbour was the cover story of the January 1997 issue of JOM (pp. 14-17.) It included several brief case studies, including radiography of the Galleryís cast of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, which revealed the placement inside the sculpture of the lead weight used to counterbalance the figuresís pronounced forward lean. Further information is available from L. Glinsman, National Gallery of Art, Conservation Department, Washington DC 20565 USA; telephone 202-842-6217; fax 202-842-6886. (There is also an article by Ole J. Kleppa in this issue, ìThe Institute for the Study of Metals: the first 15 yearsî (pp.18-20), that mentions the late Cyril Stanley Smith.)

News and Announcements

    Colleagues of W. Thomas Chase, III, the long time Director of the Conservation Laboratory of the Freer Gallery of Art and later of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery as well, were taken by surprise by his sudden decision to retire after thirty years at the Smithsonian Institution. He continues at the Freer and Sackler Galleries as a research associate and plans to devote himself full time to research and consultation. He can be reached at 4621 Norwood Drive, Chevy Chase MD 20815 USA, telephone 301-656-9416, email: TChase4921@
    In Austria there are many metallurgical sites worthy of a visit. Among them is the Radwerk IV Blast Furnace, dating to 1846, in Vordernberg. For information about this furnace and other exhibits and remnants of charcoal iron smelting in Vordernberg, call 43/3849-283. Nearby at Eisenerz mountain there is a mine for iron ore that can be visited both above and below ground. Eisenerz also offers one- to five-day forging courses. For information call 43/3848-3200 or 43/4531-370.
    Atalaya Tours has postponed the 1997 Mining Study Tour to India to January 1998. To the other Mining Study Tours such as Western Britain in September has been added one to Mexico, from Real del Monte to Durango, in late September/early October. For further information write Atalaya Tours Ltd., Ceinionfa, Capel Dewi, Aberystwyth SY23 3HR, UK; telephone and fax 44-1970-828989.
    Brookgreen Gardens at Murrellís Inlet, South Carolina, hosted a sculpture workshop August 21-23 sponsored by National Center for Preservation Technology and Training of the National Park Service, SOS(Save Our Sculpture), the Southeastern Museums Conference, the North Carolina Museums Council and the South Carolina Federation of Museums. If you have any information about this meeting, or any other 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

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