UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Archaeology and the alchemical laboratory: Exploring early modern chymical practices at colonial Jamestown (Virginia) and the Old Ashmolean Museum (Oxford)

Veronesi, Umberto; (2021) Archaeology and the alchemical laboratory: Exploring early modern chymical practices at colonial Jamestown (Virginia) and the Old Ashmolean Museum (Oxford). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of Veronesi_10131275_Thesis.pdf]
Preview
Text
Veronesi_10131275_Thesis.pdf

Download (4MB) | Preview

Abstract

The present PhD thesis focuses on the study of early modern laboratory apparatus, with the specific aim of adopting a material culture-approach to the history of science and technology. This is achieved through the scientific analysis of two assemblages of crucibles and other reaction vessels, namely that of Jamestown in Virginia (early 17th century) and that of the Ashmolean laboratory in Oxford (late 17th -early 18th century). For each of these case studies the high-temperature activities carried out were reconstructed and contextualised. The analysis of the residues left by the chemical reactions, through optical microscopy and SEM-EDS, allowed to determine what substances were manipulated and what technical processes were followed. While the vast majority of the crucibles from Jamestown were used for testing minerals in search of metals of interest to the settlers, the practitioners at the Ashmolean were found to diversify their work and experiment with technological innovation of the period. As no direct relation exists between the case studies, each of them stands on its own and each brings a novel contribution to its specific historical and archaeological context However, taken together the two case studies illustrate the wider scope of this thesis by indicating the potential of a new methodological approach to the study of laboratory remains, which combines the information of archaeological science with current narratives in the historiography of early modern science. The results are used to build a materials-based network, which tells the story of scientific developments from the bottom up and throws new light on the practical side of doing science. Ultimately, this thesis crosses old disciplinary boundaries and adds new layers of interpretation to both disciplines it engages with.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Archaeology and the alchemical laboratory: Exploring early modern chymical practices at colonial Jamestown (Virginia) and the Old Ashmolean Museum (Oxford)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131275
Downloads since deposit
109Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item