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The Provenance, Use, and Circulation of Metals in the European Bronze Age: The State of Debate

Radivojević, M; Roberts, BW; Pernicka, E; Stos-Gale, Z; Martinón-Torres, M; Rehren, T; Bray, P; ... Broodbank, C; + view all (2018) The Provenance, Use, and Circulation of Metals in the European Bronze Age: The State of Debate. Journal of Archaeological Research 10.1007/s10814-018-9123-9. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Bronze is the defining metal of the European Bronze Age and has been at the center of archaeological and science-based research for well over a century. Archaeometallurgical studies have largely focused on determining the geological origin of the constituent metals, copper and tin, and their movement from producer to consumer sites. More recently, the effects of recycling, both temporal and spatial, on the composition of the circulating metal stock have received much attention. Also, discussions of the value and perception of bronze, both as individual objects and as hoarded material, continue to be the focus of scholarly debate. Here, we bring together the sometimes-diverging views of several research groups on these topics in an attempt to find common ground and set out the major directions of the debate, for the benefit of future research. The paper discusses how to determine and interpret the geological provenance of new metal entering the system; the circulation of extant metal across time and space, and how this is seen in changing compositional signatures; and some economic aspects of metal production. These include the role of metal-producing communities within larger economic settings, quantifying the amount of metal present at any one time within a society, and aspects of hoarding, a distinctive European phenomenon that is less prevalent in the Middle Eastern and Asian Bronze Age societies.

Type: Article
Title: The Provenance, Use, and Circulation of Metals in the European Bronze Age: The State of Debate
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10814-018-9123-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10814-018-9123-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creat iveco mmons .org/licen ses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Bronze Age, Metal, Mining, Provenance, Circulation, Recycling, Trade
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052855
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