Art of the Metal Smith: Cultural Archaeologies of Technical Achievement (ARC2119)

15 credits

You will explore the socio-cultural and technological settings of a range of well-known apotheoses in pre-industrial metallurgical achievements from across the world. Examples such as prehistoric Irish gold adornments; Anglo-Saxon metal-working (Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire hoard); the Benin bronzes of West Africa; Cholan bronze images of South India; Early Islamic weapons (Damascus swords) and Pre-Hispanic precious metalwork of South America will be used to examine the role of the metal-smith in society and the symbolism attached to making unique metal artefacts. The development of specialist technologies will be examined through the cultural archaeologies and ethnographies of the societies involved.