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

Technology and culture in the invention of lost-wax casting in South America: an archaeometric and ethnoarchaeological perspective

Martinón-Torres, M; Uribe-Villegas, MA; (2015) Technology and culture in the invention of lost-wax casting in South America: an archaeometric and ethnoarchaeological perspective. Cambridge Archaeological Journal , 25 (1) pp. 377-390. 10.1017/S0959774314001164. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text (Figures 1-8)
Martinon-Torres and Uribe Villegas FIGS.pdf
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (1MB)
[img]
Preview
Text (Main Article)
Martinon-Torres_Martinon-Torres%20and%20Uribe%202015%20final%20text_template.pdf

Download (305kB) | Preview

Abstract

The invention and spread of lost-wax casting in South America is not amenable to explanations based on the concepts of practical or prestige technologies. Here we propose an alternative model to explain this phenomenon, based on a combination of technical analyses of Colombian metalwork and ethnographic information. A crucial element of our argument is that we should not focus on the cast objects or the casting process only, but rather we should consider the role of wax in this innovation. We develop the claim that the use of wax may have been culturally just as important as the metals, and that perhaps metals were used in a process of transformation that required the use of wax, as opposed to wax being simply the medium to make gold objects more beautiful. The focus on wax and its symbolic role may help explain both the invention and the adoption of the new technology, thus subsuming these two categories that those studying innovations tend to separate heuristically.

Type: Article
Title: Technology and culture in the invention of lost-wax casting in South America: an archaeometric and ethnoarchaeological perspective
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0959774314001164
Publisher version: http:dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0959774314001164
Language: English
Additional information: CAJ supports Open Access to journals under the policies of our publisher, Cambridge University Press. Our “Green” Open Access policy means that the final accepted manuscript can be freely circulated via an institutional web page or repository with no embargo period.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1464460
Downloads since deposit
313Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item