Universiteit Leiden

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The Flow of Ancient Metal across Eurasia (FLAME)

  • Mark Pollard
Thursday 18 February 2016
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Central hall

FLAME  sets out to investigate the movement, exchange, and transformation of metal in Eurasian societies during the Bronze and Early Iron Age. Using a new interpretive framework for the study of trace element chemistry and lead isotope data obtained from archaeological copper and bronze, it sets out to explore the complex human relationship with metals and metal artefacts in the past.

The almost unique material characteristics of copper and bronze allow it to flow between forms as it is recast or recycled through the liquid state. In this process of molten recycling the chemistry of this metal may be changed. Some of these changes may be relatively subtle, but when metal from different sources is combined together the chemical/isotopic fingerprint of the material may be entirely transformed, meaning that simple 'provenance' approaches may be inconclusive or misleading.

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