The casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds and investment casting technology in Lower Silesia (Poland) in 7-6 BC. The research has yielded significant technological information about the bronze casting field, especially the alloys that were used and the artifacts that were made from them. Based on the analyses, the model alloys were experimentally reconstructed. Taking advantage of the computer-modeling method, a geometric visualization of the bronze bracelets was performed; subsequently, we simulated pouring liquid metal in the ceramic molds and observed the alloy solidification. These steps made it possible to better understand the casting processes from the perspective of the mold technology as well as the melting and casting of alloys.
Cast axes are one of the most numerous categories of bronze products from earlier phases of the Bronze Age found in Poland. They had multiple applications since they were not only used objects such as tools or weapons but also played the prestigious and cult roles. Investigations of the selected axes from the bronze products treasure of the Bronze Age, found in the territory of Poland, are presented in the hereby paper. The holder of these findings is the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw. Metallurgical investigations of axes with bushing were performed in respect of the casting technology and quality of obtained castings. Macroscopic observations allowed to document the remains of the gating system and to assess the range and kind of casting defects. Light microscopy revealed the microstructure character of these relicts. The chemical composition was determined by means of the X-ray fluorescence method with energy dispersion (ED-XRF) and by the scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy dispersion analysis in micro-areas (SEM-EDS). The shape and dimensions of cores, reproducing inner parts of axes were identified on the basis of the X-ray tomography images. Studies reconstructed production technology of the mould with gating system, determined chemical composition of the applied alloys and casting structures as well as revealed the casting defects being the result of construction and usage of moulds and cores.
Investment casting technology that utilizes lost-wax casting is one of the most-important achievements of ancient society. In Lower Silesia, Poland (Grzybiany, Legnica county), a 7-6 BC casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds. The paper presents the research of molds and casts from the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Microscopic analyses of the casting molds were performed, along with radiographic and chemical composition tests of the artifacts (the latter employing the use of the X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy method). The clustering method was used for alloy classification. The microstructure was analyzed by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. Conclusions from the research were utilized in further experiments