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Title: The classification and interpretation of tin smelting remains from South West England : a study of the microstructure and chemical composition of tin smelting slags from Devon and Cornwall, and the effect of technological developments upon the character of slags
Author: Malham, Albertine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 4389
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2010
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Artefacts relating to tin smelting from tin mills or 'blowing houses' in Devon and Cornwall, plus material from smelting sites that cover a range of dates from the Bronze Age through to the 19th Century, were examined: these include metallic tin, furnace linings, ore samples and slag. Analysis of tin slags from over forty sites was carried out, to determine microstructure and chemical composition. Techniques employed included optical and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray fluorescence and ICP mass spectrometry. Analysis indicates that slag appearance and composition are heavily influenced by local geology. Composition, particularly iron content, is shown to have a strong effect on slag melting point and viscosity, and the implications for the purity of metal produced are discussed. Bringing together the evidence provided by slag chemistry, documentary sources and smelting remains in the archaeological record, changes in tin smelting technology through time, and the consequences thereof, are considered.
Supervisor: McDonnell, Gerry ; Janaway, Rob ; Stern, Ben Sponsor: Historical Metallurgy Society, and the Francis Raymond Hudson Memorial Fund.
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tin ; Smelting ; Slag ; Furnace ; Devon ; Cornwall ; Medieval ; Post-medieval ; Blowing houses (Tin mills)