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FORTHCOMING: Tarascan Copper Metallurgy: A Multiapproach Perspective by Blanca Estela Maldonado. Paperback; 205x290mm; 168pp; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. (Print RRP £32.00). 447 2018 Archaeopress Pre-Columbian Archaeology 10. ISBN 9781784916251. Buy Now

In the early sixteenth century much of West México was under the rule of the Purhépecha Empire, known to Europeans as the Tarascan Kingdom of Michuacan. Both archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence indicate that during the Late Postclassic Period (A.D. 1350-1525) this political unit was the primary center for metallurgy and metalworking in Mesoamerica. This technology was largely based on copper and its alloys.

The present study focuses on evidence recovered from the area surrounding Santa Clara del Cobre, a Tarascan community in Central Michoacán. This pioneering research required the employment of multiple strands of evidence, including archaeological survey and excavation, ethnoarchaeology, experimental replication, and archaeometallurgy. Intensive surface survey located concentrations of manufacturing byproducts (i.e. slag) on surface that represented potential production areas. Stratigraphic excavation and subsequent archaeometallurgical analysis of physical remains were combined with ethnohistorical and ethnoarchaeological data, as well as comparative analogy, to propose a model for prehispanic copper production among the Tarascans.

The goal of this analysis was to gain insights into the nature of metal production and its role in the major state apparatus. The study provides valuable insights into the development of technology and political economy in ancient Mesoamerica and offers a contribution to general anthropological theories of the emergence of social complexity.

About the Author
PROF. BLANCA MALDONADO holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from The Pennsylvania State University, with specialization in Archaeology. Her doctoral studies included training in archaeological science and archaeometallurgy at the University of Oxford and at University College London. She has received several research grants and awards, including a DAAD Research Grant (for an Academic Stay at the University of Bonn, Germany) and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, also in Germany (Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie Mannheim). She is currently Professor and Researcher in the Centre for Archaeological Studies at El Colegio de Michoacán, A.C, in Mexico.

Table of Contents (Provisional)
Preface; Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Approaches to the study of technology and craft production
Chapter 3 - Synopsis of preindustrial metallurgy as applied to Mesoamerica
Chapter 4 Tarascan copper smelting at the zone of Itziparátzico: a case study
Chapter 5 - Models of technological organization
Chapter 6 - Conclusions, remarks and suggestions for future research bibliography
Appendix a - Iarp 2003-4: survey data
Appendix b - Iarp 2003-4: test pitting data
Appendix c - Slag analyses
Appendix d - The rise of the theory of technology
Appendix e - A model for the use of wind power in preindustrial smelting from Sri Lanka
Agia Varvara-Almyras: An Iron Age Copper Smelting Site in Cyprus edited by Christina Peege in collaboration with Philippe Della Casa and Walter Fasnacht. xii+294 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (100 colour plates). 415 2018. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784918156. £48.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784918163. £16.00 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £48.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Iron Age copper smelting site situated near the Cypriot village Agia Varvara is of particular importance among the ancient copper processing places in the Near East because it has revealed spatial as well as technological aspects of copper production in a hitherto rarely-seen depth of detail. Agia Varvara-Almyras: an Iron Age Copper Smelting Site in Cyprus presents the results of a comprehensive post-excavation analysis of the stratigraphy (part I), also of the geology, metallurgical materials (furnaces, tuyeres), finds (pottery, furnace lining, stone tools), as well as a synthesis of the copper smelting technology at Agia Varvara-Almyras (part II).

The excavation analysis not only focuses on pyrotechnical information from individual furnaces, but also provides a detailed study of the spatial organisation as well as of the living conditions on the smelting site. An elaborate reconstruction of the features in a 3D model allows the visualisation of formerly-dispersed loci of copper production. Based on this virtual rebuilding of the hillock named Almyras, it becomes clear that archaeometallurgy must be unchained, and the idea of an ‘operational chain’ must be replaced by a more multidimensional research strategy labelled as an ‘operational web’. The present volume aims to stimulate future excavations which pay attention to the reasons behind the exploitation of the riches of the island, as well as to the needs of the markets where the final product was very likely to have been appreciated as a strategic commodity, by power players operating on the island as well as by ordinary people in need of a repair to an everyday commodity which had broken.

About the Editors
CHRISTINA PEEGE graduated at the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Zurich. She started her academic career as a research assistant at the Chair of Ancient History in Zurich, and as a scientific collaborator at the Mint Cabinet in the City of Winterthur. After having participated in archaeological excavations conducted by cantonal archaeology services in Switzerland, she started as a trench supervisor under the auspices of Walter Fasnacht at the excavation of Agia Varvara-Almyras. She completed her doctoral studies with this comprehensive publication of the excavation results at the University of Zurich in January 2017.

PHILIPPE DELLA CASA graduated in Roman Provincial Archaeology before taking his PhD with a thesis on the Bronze Age necropolis of Velika Gruda, Montenegro in 1994. He then engaged in a series of large Adriatic and Alpine projects on settlement survey and excavation, landscape history, as well as social and economic archaeology including mining archaeology. Since 2002, he has held the Chair of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Zurich as a full professor.

WALTER FASNACHT graduated in primary and secondary teaching before the award of his master’s degree in Prehistoric Archaeology and Geology at the University of Zurich. He is the director of the Almyras Excavation Cyprus. He has been lecturer in archaeometallurgy at the Universities of Fribourg and Zurich, curator of archaeology at the Swiss National Museum, researcher at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research as well as a member of the Swiss School of Archaeology in Eretria, Greece. He founded the Swiss Association of Experimental Archaeology and is an active teacher and educator.
Physical Barriers, Cultural Connections: A Reconsideration of the Metal Flow at the Beginning of the Metal Age in the Alps by Laura Perucchetti. iv+180 pages; illustrated throughout with 35 plates in colour. 339 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784916145. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916152. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £35.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Physical Barriers, Cultural Connections: A Reconsideration of the Metal Flow at the Beginning of the Metal Age in the Alps considers the early copper and copper-alloy metallurgy of the entire Circum- Alpine region. It introduces a new approach to the interpretation of chemical composition data sets, which has been applied to a comprehensive regional database for the first time. An extensive use of GIS has been applied to investigate the role of topography in the distribution of metal and to undertake spatial and geostastical analysis that may highlight patterns of distribution of some specific key compositional element.

The Circum-Alpine Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age show some distinctively different patterns of metal use, which can be interpreted through changes in mining and social choices. But there are also some signs of continuity, in particular those which respect the use of major landscape features such as watersheds and river systems. Interestingly, the Alpine range does not act as a north-south barrier, as major differences in composition tend to appear on an east-west axis. Conversely, the river system seems to have a key role in the movement of metal. Geostastical analyses demonstrate the presence of a remelting process, applicable also in the case of ingots; evidence that opens new and interesting questions about the role of ingots and hoards in the distribution of metal at the beginning of the Metal Age. New tools and new analysis may also be useful to identify zones where there was a primary metal production and zones where metal was mostly received and heavily manipulated.

About the Author: Laura Perucchetti is a researcher at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at the University of Oxford. She is part of a team that is working on metal flows across Eurasia, where she is the database and GIS expert.

She completed her undergraduate studies in Archaeology at the University of Milan, and her BA thesis was on the creation of a database encompassing all archaeological finds of the Bronze Age from the Italian province of Veneto. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Earth Science at the University of Milan, based on her analysis of Copper and Early Bronze Age metal artefacts found in hoards and on sites of Northern Italy.

After working for two years in commercial archaeology she successfully completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford with a thesis in which she used a combination of GIS an chemical data on metal artefacts to understand the movement of metal across the Alps. This book is derived from that work.

In her career, Laura has won several student awards, participated in international conferences and published an article in the European Journal of Archaeology. She is actively contributing to the lab work of the RLAHA in teaching, organizing seminars and arranging lab space.
Old Kingdom Copper Tools and Model Tools by Martin Odler. xvi+292 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 275 2016 Archaeopress Egyptology 14. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784914424. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914431. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £45.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Old Kingdom of Egypt (Dynasties 4–6, c. 2600–2180 BC) is famous as a period of the builders of the largest Egyptian pyramids. It is generally accepted that the evidence on the use of copper alloy tools from this era is meagre. Martin Odler gathers the textual, iconographic and palaeographic evidence and examines Old Kingdom artefacts in order to revise this view on the use of copper alloy tools and model tools. Furthermore, he provides updated definitions of tool classes and tool kits, together with the context of their use. Besides rare specimens of full-size tools, the largest corpora of the material have been preserved in the form of model tools in the burial equipment of the Old Kingdom elite and were most probably symbols of their power to commission and fund craftwork. Moreover, the size and elaboration of the model tools were probably connected to the social status of the buried persons. The long-standing division in the Egyptological literature between full-size tools and model tools is questioned. The ancient sources also enable to show that the preservation of material culture from the Old Kingdom was largely dependent on a conscious selection made within the past culture, with completely different settlement and funerary contexts and a conspicuous absence of weapons. The volume is completed by co-authored case studies on archaeometallurgy of selected Old Kingdom artefacts in the collection of the Egyptian Museum of Leipzig University, on morphometry of Old Kingdom adze blades and on the finds of stone and ceramic vessels associated with the findings of so-called Old Kingdom model tools.

Martin Odler provides an accessible introduction and overview of his research in his article for the Archaeopress Blog. Click here to read the blog post.

Reviews:

“In short: the authors have succeeded in presenting a reference and standard work, in which no one who is concerned with this period and this material should pass by; a work that will always be consulted with pleasure and joy.”Robert Kuhn, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (KunstbuchAnzeiger.de) (Translated from the German)
Metallurgical Production in Northern Eurasia in the Bronze Age by Stanislav Grigoriev. 831 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 6 2015 Access Archaeology . Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784912758. £80.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912369. Book contents pageDownload

Copper is the first metal to play a large part in human history. This work is devoted to the history of metallurgical production in Northern Eurasia during the Bronze Age, based on experiments carried out by the author and analyses of ancient slag, ore and metal. It should be noted that archaeometallurgical studies include a huge range of works reflecting different fields of activity of ancient metallurgists. Often, all that unites these is the term ‘metallurgy’. This work considers the problems of proper metallurgy, i.e. extracting metal from ore. A number of accompanying operations are closely connected with it, such as charcoal-burning, ore dressing, furnace constructing, and preparation of crucibles. In some instances the author touches upon these operations; however the main topic of the work is the smelting process. The closing stage of the metallurgical production is metalworking including various casting and forging operations, and also auxiliary operations: making of crucibles, casting molds, stone tools for metal forging. These problems are, as a rule, out of frameworks of this research.

Access Archaeology: Our newest imprint is designed to make archaeological research accessible to all and to present a low-cost (or no-cost) publishing solution for academics from all over the world. Material will range from theses, conference proceedings, catalogues of archaeological material, excavation reports and beyond. We will provide type-setting guidance and templates for authors to prepare material themselves designed to be made available for free online via our Open Access platform and to supply in-print to libraries and academics worldwide at a reasonable price point. Click here to learn more about publishing in Access Archaeology.

20% OFF: Rhesus' Gold, Heracles' Iron: the archaeology of metals mining and exploitation in NE Greece by Nerantzis X Nerantzis. ISBN 9780956824028. £28.00 (No VAT). Buy Now

Spotlight Promotion - Summer Reading. RRP £35.00, OFFER PRICE £28.00 (offer ends 31/08/2018): East Macedonia in northern Greece has rich deposits of gold and silver as well as copper and iron ores. The gold and silver were important to Classical Athens and even more so to Alexander the Great’s Hellenistic world. Copper was extracted as early as the Late Neolithic, and iron was worked from the Iron Age to Ottoman times. Bringing to life the essential background to this wealth derived from metals, this book looks at the archaeological and archaeometallurgical evidence, some of it very new, for the mining and processing of the ores and the extraction of the metal. The book is written with the visitor to the region very much in mind, taking the reader closer to the landscapes where these practices took place to make sense of ‘silent landscapes’ where so much happened at one time but where nature has now taken over the remains of buildings, installations and heaps of waste rendering them ‘mute’ and meaningless for all but the expert historian of technology. Written by a native of the region who has himself been directly involved in field and laboratory work on ancient metallurgy, this book will raise the profile of this aspect of the region’s past as well as the region’s great natural beauty.

About the Author:
N Neratzis is an archaeologist working for the Greek Archaeological Service in eastern Macedonia. He combines extensive fieldwork experience with a specialism in archaeometallurgy; his recent PhD was on metals extraction during the Byzantine period, in N. Greece.
Metallurgy in Ancient Ecuador A Study of the Collection of Archaeological Metallurgy of the Ministry of Culture, Ecuador by Roberto Lleras Perez. 150pp; full colour throughout. 168 2015 Archaeopress Pre-Columbian Archaeology 5. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911607. £28.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911614. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £28.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Metallurgical activity was present in Ecuador from at least 1500 BC; by around the beginning of the Common Era metallurgical manufacture and use had extended to most of the Costa and Sierra. Regional styles soon evolved giving rise to high levels of technical craftsmanship and to shaping particular iconographic and decorative patterns. Copper, gold, silver and platinum were mined, processed and converted into thousands of ornaments, offerings, tools and weapons extensively used both by elites and by the common people. By 1450, the Incas had invaded most of the Ecuadorian Sierra and eventually they integrated the diverse metallurgical traditions into their state-managed metallurgical industry. The European conquest in the sixteenth century deeply affected the native metallurgical activities, even though in some regions copper continued to be worked throughout the colonial period. The reconstruction of the general outlines of this fascinating historical process was made possible through the study of the collection of archaeological metal objects of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador, the compilation of previous archaeological references, laboratory analyses and C14 dating of museum objects. This work is the first one of its kind to be published on the ancient metallurgy of Ecuador.
Technology of Sword Blades from the La Tène Period to the Early Modern Age The case of what is now Poland by Grzegorz Żabiński and Janusz Stępiński with Marcin Biborski. vi+363 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 122 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784910280. £51.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784910297. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £51.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This book assesses the results of recent metallographic examination of 45 sword blades (mid-2nd century BC to early-16th century) from the territory of what is now Poland. Pre-Roman blades were usually made from one piece of metal of varying quality (better quality items were perhaps imported). Most high quality and complex technology Roman blades were in all probability of Roman provenance, while some low quality one-piece examples may have been made locally. The Migration Period and Early Middle Ages witnessed the greatest diversification of technological solutions. However it is much more difficult to define the provenance of blades based on their technology in these periods. The range of technologies in use strongly decreased in the High and Late Middle Ages.
Eros, mercator and the cultural landscape of Melos in antiquity The archaeology of the minerals industry of Melos by Effie Photos-Jones and Alan J Hall. 261 pages; illustrated in full colour throughout.ISBN 9780956824011. £45.00 (No VAT). Buy Now

The island of Melos in the Cyclades has a rich archaeology having played an important part in prehistory and throughout history. But owing to its unique geology it is also home to a wide array of rocks and minerals which have been exploited since the first human occupation of the island. This book is about the archaeology of the minerals industries of Melos in antiquity. The localities of their extraction and the type of processing they may have been subject to have been reconstructed on the basis of archaeological evidence.

At the site of Aghia Kyriaki, SE Melos, there is evidence for large-scale exploitation of alum in the Late Roman period, its processing in large shallow vessels and packaging into amphorae; there is also evidence for the use of geothermal energy there and in neighbouring Palaeochori Bay; there are phreatic explosions near the sulphur mines at Fyrlingos; finally, there are the egkoila of Melos, the rock-cut cavities carved out of the island’s ubiquitous white altered volcanic rock which gave rise to its minerals.

The ancient texts and epigraphic evidence also take centre stage, depicting the nature of Melian society from the momentous events of 416BC to the Late Roman period. This book will have wide appeal to archaeologists and historians, to geologists and mineralogists and to all those interested in the island or just visiting it.

About the Authors:
Effie Photos-Jones is an archaeological scientist and director of SASAA, a company based in Glasgow specializing in the scientific analysis of archaeological materials. She has co-directed archaeological research projects in the Aegean and carried out many archaeometallurgical studies in Greece including at Lavrion. She has published extensively on the topic of ancient technologies. Her current interests focus on early mineral pharmacological agents and the industries that made them available in antiquity.

Alan J Hall recently retired as Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow where he taught geoarchaeology. His specialist research interests are in mineralogy and geochemistry. He co-directed the research project on Melos.
Copper Shaft-Hole Axes and Early Metallurgy in South-Eastern Europe: An Integrated Approach by Julia Heeb. viii+167 pages; illustrated throughout in black and white with some colour. With CD. 97 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781905739837. £32.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781905739905. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £32.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Promotion: Bronze Age and Iron Age Offers (20% Discount). Special price: £25 (RRP £32.00). Offer ends 30/06/2017
Although the copper axes with central shaft-hole from south-eastern Europe have a long history of research, they have not been studied on a transnational basis since the 1960s. What has also been missing, is trying to use as many methods as possible to better understand their production, use and context. A database was compiled to find answers to questions regarding patterns of distribution, context, fragmentation and deformation. Aspects of production were considered through experimental archaeology, metallographic analysis and a re-discovered axe blank with missing shaft-hole. The typology was re-evaluated and modified to ensure comparability across modern national boundaries. The integration of these approaches yielded some interesting results. The great variability in shape clearly shows that a variety of production techniques were used, but it is difficult to relate these to specific geographic areas. In fact the typology as well as the practice of marking the axes indicate that traditional archaeological ‘cultures’ rarely correspond to axe types and marking practices. Instead there were different spheres of influence, some more localised and others much larger than specific ceramic traditions. These different levels of belonging show that it was a period of complex cultural patterns and interactions. The axes were part of these networks of daily life on many different levels from the utilitarian to the ritualised placement in burial contexts.
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