This study aims to establish the equipment and methods used to make hammered metal vessels in Crete during the Bronze Age. It combines archaeological research with metalsmithing practice. The most substantial studies to date have been largely typological. Some have examined the equipment and processes used, but usually without fully taking into account the metalsmithing techniques involved in vessel manufacture. An understanding of the equipment required and the manner in which it is used...[Show more] provides a new perspective on the Minoan craft and its practitioners. The initial stages of the study involved investigating Minoan vessel types and characteristics, and studying excavation reports on Bronze Age metallurgical sites in Crete as well as publications on the metallurgy of Minoan Crete and other Bronze Age cultures. The second stage was the detailed examination of a number of Minoan vessels in collections in Crete and the UK. The final stage was to replicate tools and equipment found at Minoan metallurgical sites and to test their viability for making Minoan metal-vessel forms. The processes involved annealing, the application of different hammering methods, riveting and polishing techniques. These reconstructed processes led to the creation of two small bowls, a hydria made from separate sections and a one-handled basin. The results of this research and the replication of equipment and techniques made it possible to reconstruct the processes used to make these vessels. Several other discoveries were made which have broader implications. Firstly, the reconstructive process revealed some of the physical aspects of the craft which would have affected the working practices of Minoan smiths and the roles of individuals within a workshop. Secondly, the study showed that simple tools found at many Minoan metallurgical sites are very effective for creating these vessels. Furthermore, the results suggest that metalsmithing may have occurred at more locations than are currently recognised as metallurgical sites. Lastly, it was discovered that both the forms and the often large sizes of Minoan vessels and, by extension, many Mycenaean vessels were determined by the types of tools that the smiths used. This has implications for how we might interpret these vessels within the broader context of the metal-vessel traditions of other contemporary cultures. -- provided by Candidate.
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