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Centre for Archaeology Guidelines: Archaeometallurgy

Front cover for Centre for Archaeology Guidelines: Archaeometallurgy

replaced by Archaeometallurgy

The following guidance publication has been archived. This is because it is now out of date or has been superseded by new guidance. If you would like to obtain a digital copy of this guidance for your information only please email supplying the title, author, product code and publication date.

Archaeometallurgy is the study of metalworking structures, tools, waste products and finished metal artefacts, from the Bronze Age to the recent past. It can be used to identify and interpret metal working structures in the field and, during the post-excavation phases of a project, metal working waste products, such as slags, crucibles and moulds. The technologies used in the past can be reconstructed from the information obtained. Scientific techniques are often used by archaeometallurgists, as they can provide additional information.

Archaeometallurgical investigations can provide evidence for both the nature and scale of mining, smelting, refining and metalworking trades, and aid understanding of other structural and artefactual evidence. They can be crucial in understanding the economy of a site, the nature of the occupation, the technological capabilities of its occupants and their cultural affinities. In order that such evidence is used to its fullest, it is essential that archaeometallurgy is considered at each stage of archaeological projects, and from their outset.

A draft revised version of this guidance document has been published for consultation and is available to view on our consultations page (

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Replaced
  • Is replaced by: Archaeometallurgy
  • Product Code: XH20166
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