UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The Production of Silver in South America

Rehren, T; (2011) The Production of Silver in South America. Archaeology International , 13 pp. 76-83. 10.5334/ai.1318. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Rehren 2011 Silver South America Archaeo. International 13-14.pdf - ["content_typename_Published version" not defined]

Download (551kB) | Preview

Abstract

Silver plays important roles in pre-Columbian, colonial and modern South American societies. Case studies covering the production stages, and spanning nearly two millennia, provide examples of the complexities of silver metallurgy. Ethnographic evidence from Bolivia demonstrates the function of the pre-Columbian huyarachina furnace, adapted to the environment of the high Andes, while an archaeological site in southern Peru exemplifies the small-scale, probably domestic, processing of silver slag across major socio-political changes. The transition from indigenous to European technology is another complex aspect of South American silver metallurgy and highlights the importance of studying technology in its social and economic contexts. We can see the co-existence over several centuries of a large-scale state-run silver industry, based on the patio process (and requiring a long-distance network to provide silver ore, mercury, energy and supervision), alongside a small-scale European high-temperature silver extraction (using fuel-intensive ‘dragon’ furnaces), and a surviving indigenous technology based on huyarachina furnaces.

Type: Article
Title: The Production of Silver in South America
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/ai.1318
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/ai.1318
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: silver, metallurgy, smelting, furnaces
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/1475301
Downloads since deposit
218Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item