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Elpidia Giovanna Fregni PhD

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United Kingdom

I completed my PhD thesis at the University of Sheffield which incorporated structured experiments involving replica Bronze Age metalsmithing tools used to assess wear examined on original artefacts in museums. I began experimenting in archaeometallurgy as an undergraduate in Minnesota where I explored techniques for forming copper that could have been used by early Native Americans in the Upper Great Lakes region. I later made replicas of bronze axes in the collection of the University of Minnesota in order to compare wear.
I regularly demonstrate Bronze Age metallurgy at Heeley City Farm, an experimental farm in Sheffield that provides space for students to conduct experimental archaeology.
I am also a member of Umha Aois, a group of artists, archaeologists and researchers who gather for an annual symposium to explore a specific aspect of Bronze Age metalworking. Past programs have included casting into single valve stone moulds, and reconstructing Late Bronze Age sheet metal cauldrons.
I have been successful in my experiments because I have focused on an archaeological question that needed to be addressed and then structured the experiment around the available technology along with modern analytical techniques in order to provide qualified and quantified data for my research.

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