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Bronze Artefact Production in Late Bronze Age Ireland

A survey

Simon Ó Faoláin


In this work the author provides a comprehensive survey of bronze-working practices during the Late Bronze Age in Ireland through six key areas of research: (1) A thorough examination of all relevant categories of artifactual evidence (with the exception of the finished metalwork itself) and the compilation of a detailed catalogue of this evidence; (2) The identification of gaps in the archaeological record in terms of necessary tools and metalworking facilities that are apparently absent; (3) An evaluation of the structural and other site evidence of bronze metallurgy on Irish sites of this period (with particular reference to evidence from excavations); (4)The placement of bronze-working during this period in a wider context, demonstrating the broad technical similarities in equAment and methods in the insular Late Bronze Age as a whole, while stressing distinctly Irish and regional traits where they occur; (5) Undertaking a special in-depth examination of Late Bronze Age sword production in Ireland. (Also examined here is the suitability of elements of the Late Bronze Age archaeological assemblage as metalworking tools and the utility of the experimental approach in archaeology is also studied); (6) A consideration of the position of Late Bronze Age bronze-working in contemporary society, with reference to the supply of raw materials, trade, smith mobility and status, site status and ritual.