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Number of results: 7
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Abstract

In Poland, researchers have a very strong interest in archaeometallurgy, which, as presented in classical works, focuses on dating artefacts from the prehistoric and early medieval periods in the form of cast iron and copper castings. This study, extending the current knowledge, presents the results of a microstructure investigation into the findings from the Modern era dating back to the late Middle Ages. The investigated material was an object in the form of a heavy solid copper block weighing several kilograms that was excavated by a team of Polish archaeologists working under the direction of Ms Iwona Młodkowska-Przepiórowska during works on the marketplace in the city of Czestochowa during the summer of 2009. Pre-dating of the material indicates the period of the seventeenth century AD. The solid copper block was delivered in the form of a part shaped like a bell, named later in this work as a “kettlebell”. To determine the microstructure, the structural components, chemical composition, and homogeneity, as well as additives and impurities, investigations were carried out using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy including analysis of the chemical composition performed in micro-areas, and qualitative X-ray phase analysis in order to investigate the phase composition. Interpretation of the analytical results of the material’s microstructure will also help modify and/or develop new methodological assumptions to investigate further archaeometallurgical exhibits, throwing new light on and expanding the area of knowledge of the use and processing of seventeenth-century metallic materials.
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Abstract

Archaeometallurgical investigations presented in this work focus on analysing the microstructure as well as mechanical properties of artefacts from the17th in form of findings performed from cast iron as well as copper casts. The presented research results extend the up-to-date knowledge and present the analysis of structural compounds found in the microstructure of the artefacts from the time dating back to the late Middle Ages in the region around Czestochowa, Poland. The tested samples were found in earth in the city centre under the present marketplace. The excavation works were carried out in summer in the year 2009, and have resulted in the excavation of artefacts in form of copper block of the weight of several kg. The excavation action was led by a group of Polish archaeologists collaborating with the local authorities. The performed pre-dating of this element determines the age of the artefacts as the 17th century AD. The excavations that have been taking place since 2007 have widened the knowledge of the former Czestochowa. Historians of this town have suggested, that the found weight and traces of metallurgical activity suggest that the exposed walls were an urban weight. The weight is visible on the 18th century iconography. What was find on the Old Market indicates that there was a lush economic life before the Swedish invasion in this part of Poland. Some buildings lost their functions or were changed, others died in fires, but new places developed. To describe the microstructure, with its structural components, research was done using microscopy techniques, both of the light as well as electron microscopy (SEM), also chemical composition analysis was carried out using the EDS technique, as well as tool for phase analysis were applied in form of X-Ray Diffraction (qualitative analysis), especially for the reason to describe the phases present in the excavated material. This research will help to obtain new information in order to investigate further archaeometallurgical artefacts, extending the knowledge about middle age metallic materials its usage and manufacturing.
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Abstract

This preliminary study characterizes the bronze metalworking on a defensive settlement of the Lusatian culture in former Kamieniec (Chełmno land, Poland) as it is reflected through casting workshop recovered during recent excavations. Among ready products, the ones giving evidence of local metallurgy (e.g. casting moulds and main runners) were also identified. With the shrinkage cavities and dendritic microstructures revealed, the artifacts prove the implementing a casting method by the Lusatian culture metalworkers. The elemental composition indicates application of two main types of bronzes: Cu-Sn and Cu-Pb. Aside these main alloying additions, some natural impurities such as silver, arsenic, antimony and nickel were found which may be attributed to the origin of the ore and casting technology. The collection from Kamieniec was described in terms of its structure and composition. The investigations were made by means of the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive Xray analysis system (EDS) and optical microscopy (OM). In order to fingerprint either local or non-local profile of the alloys, the ED-XRF data-set was statistically evaluated using a factor analysis (FA).
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Abstract

The research focuses on assessing the metal content, mainly copper, lead, iron and also silver in metallurgical slag samples from the area where historical metallurgical industry functioned. In the smelter located in Mogiła, near Krakow (southern Poland), whose operation is confirmed in sources from 1469, copper was probably refined as well as silver was separated from copper. Based on the change of chemical and soil phase content and also taking cartographic and historical data into account, considering the restrictions resulting from the modern land use the area was determined whose geochemical mapping can point to the location of the 15th century Jan Thurzo’s smelter in Mogiła near Krakow. Moreover, using the same approach with the samples of this kind here as with hazardous waste, an attempt has been made to assess their impact on the environment. Thereby, taking the geoenvironmental conditions into account, potential impact of the industrial activity has been assessed, which probably left large scale changes in the substratum, manifested in the structure, chemical content and soil phase changes. Discovering areas which are contaminated above the standard value can help to identify historical human activities, and finding the context in artefacts allows to treat geochemical anomalies as a geochronological marker. For this purpose the best are bed sediments, at present buried in the ground, of historical ditches draining the area of the supposed smelter. Correlating their qualities with analogical research of archeologically identified slags and other waste material allows for reconstructing the anthropopressure stages and the evaluation of their effects. The operation of Jan Thurzo’s smelter is significant for the history of mining and metallurgy of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe.
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Abstract

The article presents chosen aspects of foundry engineering of the settlement dwellers, including the archaeometric characteristics and metal science analysis of the artefacts, as well as an attempted reconstruction of the production organization. Discovered in Szczepidło (Greater Poland), the foundry workshop is unique in Central European Bronze Age. This workshop foundry operated roughly XIV-XII Century BC. Its production is evidenced by the presence of markers of the whole production cycle: semi-finished and finished products, production waste, fragments of crucibles and casting ladles with traces of usage, and tools. On this basis, the alloys and foundry technologies used have been described. The analysis of foundry technology of copper alloys in the settlement area was carried out by observing the surface and structure of the products, semi-finished artefacts and fragments of crucibles by applying optical microscopy (OM), confocal microscopy (CLSM) and Xray radiography (RT). The investigations of compositions were made by means of the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive X-ray analysis system (EDS).
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Abstract

During excavation of the cremation cemetery of urnfield culture in Legnica at Spokojna Street (Lower Silesia, Poland), dated to 1100-700 BC, the largest - so far in Poland – a collection of casting moulds from the Bronze Age was discovered: three moulds for axes casting made out of stone and five moulds for casting sickles, razors, spearhead and chisels, made out of clay. This archaeological find constituted fittings of foundrymen’s graves. In order to perform the complete analysis of moulds in respect of their application in the Bronze Age casting technology analytical methods, as well as, computer aided methods of technological processes were used. Macroscopic investigations were performed and the X-ray fluorescence spectrometry method was used to analyse the chemical composition and metal elements content in mould cavities. Moulds were subjected to three-dimensional scanning and due to the reverse engineering the geometry of castings produced in these moulds were obtained. The gathered data was used to perform design and research works by means of the MAGMA5 software. Various variants of the pouring process and alloys solidification in these archaeological moulds were simulated. The obtained results were utilised in the interpretation of the Bronze Age casting production in stone and clay moulds, with regard to their quality and possibility of casting defects occurrence being the result of these moulds construction. The reverse engineering, modelling and computer simulation allowed the analysis of moulds and castings. Investigations of casting moulds together with their digitalisation and reconstruction of casting technology, confirm the high advancement degree of production processes in the Bronze Age.
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Abstract

This study characterizes the bronze jewellery recovered from the Lusatian culture urn-field in Mała Kępa (Chełmno land, Poland). Among many common ornaments (e.g. necklaces, rings, pins) the ones giving evidence of a steppe-styled inspiration (nail earrings) were also identified. With the dendritic microstructures revealed, the nail earrings prove the implementing of a lost-wax casting method, whereas some of the castings were further subjected to metalworking. The elemental composition indicates the application of two main types of bronze alloys: Cu-Sn and Cu-Sn-Pb. It has been established that the Lusatian metalworkers were familiar with re-melting the scrap bronze and made themselves capable of roasting the sulphide-rich ores. The collection from Mała Kępa has been described in terms of its structure and composition. The investigations were made by means of the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive X - ray analysis system (EDS) and optical microscopy (OM). In order to fingerprint an alloy profile of the castings with a special emphasis on the nail earrings, the data-set (ED-XRF, EDS) was statistically evaluated using multidimensional analyses (FA, DA).
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