The course will consider the nature of fire and the many ways in which human beings have used it.
The course will concentrate on the use and control of fire to modify inorganic materials such as stone and create new ones including pottery, plasters, cements, glasses and metals. There will be an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of the evidence for these pyrotechnological processes, including evidence that may be found in artefacts themselves and in remains found at their sites of raw material extraction and artefact production. The course will provide an essential basis for understanding the nature of traditional pyrotechnological processes, analysing the products and interpreting the archaeological evidence.
The course is ideally suited for those intending to pursue a practical archaeological or curatorial career to a level where they are responsible for interpretation. The course will give a sound general basis for those intending to study plasters, mortars, ceramics, glass and metals. The Pyrotechnology course should be of interest to all archaeologists with more general interests in the understanding of inorganic remains.