IAMS Summer School 2012 Success

12 July 2012

IAMS Summer School 2012 Group Photo

IAMS is happy to report that we have just completed yet another highly successful summer school! We had a great turnout by many enthusiastic students up a peak of 25 attendees, we are overjoyed to see that the discipline of archaeometallurgy still holds great interest to so many.

Over the two week course, students attended lectures by some of the discipline's most prominent lecturers.

During the first week, Prof. Tim Shaw, Emeritus Professor of Mining Engineering, Imperial College London gave a fascinating series of classes on the development of mining and extractive technologies across the world and across the ages. This was followed by a day with Dr. Simon Timberlake of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit on the development of copper mining and metallurgy in the British Isles during the Bronze age with a focus on the archaeological remains now being uncovered at various sites. The last two days of the first week saw the focus switch to iron metallurgy in Spain during Roman times and Central Europe during medieval times with Dr. Brigitte Cech.

IAMS Summer School Prof. Rehren with Students

The second weed of courses focused mainly on smelting, alloying, and production processes. The first two days were hosted by Prof. Thilo Rehren who gave an overview of the development of both copper and iron metallurgy with an emphasis on the scientific analysis of slag and other remains. This was followed by Ann Feuerbach's fascinating lecture on the development and spread of Damascus steel technology and the role of archaeometallurgy as anthropology. To round off the metals covered, Dr. Marcos Martinón-Torres gave two days of lectures on zinc and brass, gold, and bronze.

In addition to these lectures, students got a chance to participate in handling sessions of artefacts and other remains from various archaeological sites. Students were given a series objects, including crucibles, slag, ingots, and finished artefacts, and were tasked with determining their function and reconstruct the technological processes involved in their creation. In addition, students got a chance to get some practical experience conducting some SEM-EDS analysis on crucibles and to use a portable XRF directly on objects. These handling and practical sessions were by far the favorites of the class and gave the students a unique view of the world of archaeometallurgy.

IAMS Summer School Dr. Torres with Students

IAMS would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all lecturers and thank all the participants for making it such a success. We would also send our special thanks to Pira Venunan who so ably organised the proceedings.

We look forward to welcoming a new batch of students for next year's Summer School!

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