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Archaeometallurgy

The metal objects found in La Bastida were manufactured with copper or bronze and a minority with silver. These are grouped in tools (awls, chisels, axes, knives), ornaments (earrings, bracelets, diadems, beads) and weapons (daggers, halberds).

 

Alabarda

 

La Bastida is one of the few Argaric sites where the metallurgical process is recorded. The discovery of several ingots in recent excavations indicates that raw material arrived in the village as a preform. One of our investigation lines seeks to determine the elemental and isotopic composition of the metallic objects to suggest the origin of these ingots. So far, the clearest  and most abundant evidence of mining, reduction and obtention of ingots comes from the town of Peñalosa, on the foothills of Sierra Morena. From these primary production centers, the metal would reach a small number of workshops of the major Argaric settlements. These would be the only ones with the necessary tools for casting, forging, polishing and maintenance of the objects. Precisely, these types of tools are relatively abundant in La Bastida.

 

Restauración de un cuchillo

 

The first stage of the metallurgical process is the foundry, for which we count with crucibles and moulds. The forging activities, after removing the object from the mould, are evidenced by anvils and hammers. Finally, there have been recovered numerous stone sharpeners to maintain sharp objects. These contextual informations will be considered for a second line of research aimed to understand the aspects of the metallurgical process. This line is based on the analysis of trace elements and artifact metalographies.

 

Cuchillo y puñal de metal

 

Most metal objects found in La Bastida were part of grave goods, and they constitute, along with certain ceramic vessels, key elements to define the Argaric society as stratified structure of social classes.
 

Photo Gallery

Ingot found in the base of the hill that showing superficial aggregates.

Ingot found in the base of the hill showing superficial aggregates.

Metal objects that usually compose the Argaric grave goods.

Metal objects that usually compose the Argaric grave goods.

Puñal y hacha con restos de madera en sus extremos proximales, procedentes de un contexto funerario

Puñal y hacha con restos de madera en sus extremos proximales, procedentes de un contexto funerario

Obverse and reverse of a halberd discovered inside a cist.

Obverse and reverse of a halberd discovered inside a cist.

Slag.

Slag.

Excavation process.

Excavation process.

  • Ingot found in the base of the hill that showing superficial aggregates.
  • Metal objects that usually compose the Argaric grave goods.
  • Puñal y hacha con restos de madera en sus extremos proximales, procedentes de un contexto funerario
  • Obverse and reverse of a halberd discovered inside a cist.
  • Slag.
  • Excavation process.

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