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Title: The bronze casting industry in later prehistoric southern Britain : a study based on refractory debris
Author: Howard, Hilary
ISNI:       0000 0001 3582 477X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1983
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Industrial organisation is a vital aspect of the organisation of society as a whole. This study aims to investigate the organisation of a particular industry during the later prehistoric period (1st millennium BC) in southern Britain. The focal archaeological data set comprises those refractory artefacts - crucibles,. moulds, tuyeres and furnaces - used in the bronze casting process. However, a wide range of ethnographic, historical, technological and geological literature has been quarried in the course of this integrated study, to construct predictive organisational models, and to assist in the interpretation of archaeological remains. Following a theoretical examination of the concepts 'industry' and 'specialisation', Part I sets out and discusses the evidence for metalworking organisation in ethnographic contexts. The concluding chapter of this Part consists of a series of generalisations drawn from the ethnography-based discussion, and the implications of these generalisations for the understanding of prehistoric bronze casting are outlined. Part II examines the overall constraints on refractory productionand investigates the manufacture of refractories in a range of recent historical and ethnographic contexts. The potential contribution a study of refractories can make towards the understanding of the casting industry is discussed here. Part II concludes with a description of the methods selected to analyse archaeological refractory artefacts. Part III consists of a series of individual studies of prehistoric casting sites. The metalworking evidence and locally available materials for refractory production are described, and analytical results are presented and discussed. Catalogues of bronze casting sites and non- ceramic moulds form the final chapter in this Part. The concluding Part IV attempts to set the archaeological data presented and discussed in Part III within the organisational and technological frameworks considered in Parts I and II. Prehistoric refractory technology is assessed, and organisational models are proposed for the bronze casting industry during the age of bronze, and during that period when man had become economically dependent on iron for the production of most tools and weapons.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology