University of Cambridge > > Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy Seminar Series > The archaeology of materials science and metallurgy: some examples

The archaeology of materials science and metallurgy: some examples

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Yonatan Calahorra.

Some of the most important archaeological discoveries do not take place in the field: increasily, they are made in laboratories. Scientific analyses allow us to obtain unimaginable degrees of resultion in our understanding of past peoples through the study of the things they left behind.

A particularly fruitful area of research involves the use of modern materials science to reverse engineer archaeological artefacts. Through the study of the composition and structure of archaeological materials, from the macro to the nano scale, we can reveal otherwise hidden aspects of how past societies understood and exploited materials, how technologies evolved, and how past societies interacted with each other and their environment in different periods and places.

In this talk I will outline some examples of research in archaeological materials science focusing on artefacts and production remains from America, Africa, Europe and Asia, and spanning several millennia. While the main emphasis will be placed on metals and metallurgy, ceramics and glass will also be discussed. The main aim of this talk is to highlight the potential of this strand of work, in the hope that we can develop further synergies across departments and disciplines.

This talk is part of the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy Seminar Series series.

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