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Title: The Goldsmith's workshop : a study of metallurgy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Colombia
Author: Arenas, Jimena Lobo Guerrero
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 4557
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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This research investigates metallurgy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Colombia. Drawing on theories from Material Culture Studies, Landscape Archaeology and the Anthropology of the Senses, and adopting a multidisciplinary approach that includes archaeological evidence, documentary sources and ethnographic interviews, this study aims at documenting and analysing what happened to metallurgy after the encounter. The study focuses on the town of Mompox, a World Heritage Site, in the Momposino Depression in northern Colombia. Here, a long-lasting metalwork tradition survives not only in the memories of the oldest goldsmiths but also in delicate silver filigree work. The study focuses on the relationships that emerged between things and people within different landscapes and in light of this it offers an alternative perspective to examine processes of change and transformation, movement, continuity, resistance, techniques, and experiences. This thesis argues that the entangled relationship among individuals, objects and landscapes brought important tensions and sensorial experiences into play, which in turn altered, resignified, modelled and influenced the metallurgical activity. This research is the first attempt at studying metalwork during the early colonial period in Colombia from a multidisciplinary perspective. It discusses the material record left by metalwork in the past that was recovered during excavations in Mompox. Archaeometallurgical analysis' results contribute to the discussion. From a historical point of view, primary sources, chronicles of Indies and official reports shed light on goldsmithing activity, the characteristics of workshops, and the social, economic and political circumstances of metalwork activity within this time frame. Finally, from an anthropological perspective, interviews with older goldsmiths in Mompox provide an ethnographic dimension to help understand present-day metalwork and to search for traces of the material culture remains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available