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Durham e-Theses
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The role and status of the Bronze Age smith and the organisation of metallurgy

Williamson, Diane (1990) The role and status of the Bronze Age smith and the organisation of metallurgy. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The aim of this study is to explore the role and social standing of the smith in Bronze Age communities and consider the possible forms of organisation of the craft during this period. The approach employed seeks to illuminate the findings of archaeology with the results of anthropological theory and research. It has been to draw on examples of metalworklng in the ethnographic record and, from these descriptions and accounts, including In addition, reference to literary and mythological evidence, to formulate hypotheses about the smith which can be checked against archaeological data. The study Is organised Into an introduction, six chapters and a conclusion. The separate chapters examine; mining and smelting, ore supply, manufacturing technology, the status of the smith, trade and exchange and bronze metalwork. The process of metal production is broken down into its essential technical stages - from ore extraction and smelting through to the fabrication of objects, their trade and exchange and social meaning. Each of these stages Is examined as a social, political and ritual process. The results of this underline the need for and importance of a typology of Bronze Age craftsmen and of the different forms of society of which they were a part.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1990
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:13

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