Pyrgos Mavroraki Smelting and Melting Experiments in a Metallurgical Workshop of the Second Millennium BC

Maria Rosaria Belgiorno and
Livio Pontieri (IT)
Interpreting the cultural influences of Cyprus in antiquity has posed an issue, depending on one’s point of view or the different conclusions reached. Until the 1970s, in large part due to the extensive excavations along the northern coast of Cyprus, it seemed reasonable to recognise a plethora of Aegean traits in the island culture. Every element of the Cypriot Bronze Age was analysed and interpreted in...

Experimental Roman Minting: Casting Silver-Copper Alloys into a Bronze Mould

Nicola George (UK)
This paper provides the details of a Roman minting experiment, which used a bronze mould to cast debased silver blanks typical of the third century A.D. The investigation follows the paper ''Experiments reproducing Roman debased alloys" (George, 2020) which studied the manufacturing methods used in the production of Roman silver coinage. The purpose of those experiments was to both...

Irish Copper Axe-Ingots Recovered in Brittany: Experimental Casting to Recreate Porous Material

Aurélien Burlot (IE)
The present study discusses the casting of copper axe-ingots in open, wet sand moulds, in an attempt to recreate porous artefacts that have been recovered in Brittany, France. The original axe-ingots are considered to be Irish copper metalwork from the Early Bonze Age. However, these artefacts are not finished objects and are poorly cast. This nevertheless appears to be deliberate because...

A Short Guide to Making Wax Tablets

Αntonis Vlavogilakis (GR)
A few years ago, I conducted a series of experiments focusing on wax tablets as drawing tools in antiquity (Vlavogilakis, in press. All references to my earlier experiments with wax tablets refer to this paper). When this was over, I decided to create a diptych as a present. The method of making was inspired from examples of tablets and diptychs from different periods: Bronze Age...

Socketed Axes of the Irish Late Bronze Age: Understanding the Internal Rib Phenomenon

Terry Runner (US)
This study explores the possibility that the internal rib commonly recognised inside bronze socketed axes may suggest an entirely different step in the casting process than previously thought. The internal rib, more commonly referred to as a ‘hafting rib’, has always been regarded as a functional addition to help tighten the grip of the haft once fitted into the socket. However, many of the internal ribs...

Viking Jewellery Mould Making. Experimental and Reconstructive Aspects

Anders Söderberg (SE)
Craftsmanship relies upon the silent knowledge of the skilled experience of the creative workings of the hands, a knowledge that is difficult to convert to written characters without creating a blur of words that make very little sense. Theoretical reasoning lacks the dialogue with, and the resistance from, the raw material. Making up a picture of how wax, clay and metal would behave without practical experience of them is...


An object formed by pouring liquid metal into a mould.

Experiencing Visible and Invisible Metal Casting Techniques in Bronze Age Italy

M. Barbieri,
C. Cavazzuti,
L. Pellegrini and
F. Scacchetti (IT)
OpenArch Dialogue with Skills Issue
***What we know about Bronze Age metalworking in Italy basically relies on finished artefacts and on stone, clay or bronze implements involved in the process of manufacturing (tuyères, crucibles, moulds, hammers, chisels, et cetera; Bianchi, 2010; Bianchi, in press).