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Bronze production in the Iron Age of the Iberian Peninsula: The case of El Castru, Vigaña (Asturias, NW Spain)

Farci, C; Martinón-Torres, M; Álvarez, DG; (2017) Bronze production in the Iron Age of the Iberian Peninsula: The case of El Castru, Vigaña (Asturias, NW Spain). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , 11 pp. 338-351. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.009. Green open access

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Abstract

Bronze production during the Iron Age of the Iberian Peninsula is characterised by the use of a relatively simple technology, based on crucible-furnaces. In an area rich in mineral resources, bronze was produced on a small scale and within settlements, to be used for ritual, ornamental and functional objects. Here we present an analytical study of slagged crucibles, small slag nodules and casting spillage from the Iron Age hillfort of El Castru, in Vigaña (Asturias, NW Iberia), with a particular focus on the technology of bronze production. The study sought to contribute to our understanding of Pre-Roman metallurgical activities in the region, as a case in point to discuss broader prehistoric traditions of bronze-making. The results show that the technology and scale of bronze production at this hillfort are coherent with the pattern described for much of prehistoric metallurgy in Iberia, with the -direct production of copper alloys by cementation and co-smelting of mineral ores. The results also illustrate some of the challenges encountered when attempting to identify metallurgical processes through the analyses of crucible residues, and propose some criteria to facilitate future studies.

Type: Article
Title: Bronze production in the Iron Age of the Iberian Peninsula: The case of El Castru, Vigaña (Asturias, NW Spain)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.009
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.009
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Spain; Late Iron Age; Bronze technology; Cementation; Co-smelting; SEM-EDS; Crucibles
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/1541195
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