HomeMedieval copper, bronze and brass – Dinant-Namur 2014

Medieval copper, bronze and brass – Dinant-Namur 2014

Cuivres, bronzes et laitons médiévaux – Dinant-Namur 2014

History, archaeology and archaeometry of the production of brass, bronze and other copper alloy objects in medieval Europe (12th-16th centuries)

Histoire, archéologie et archéométrie des productions en laiton, bronze et autres alliages à base de cuivre dans l’Europe médiévale (XIIe-XVIe siècle)

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Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

This symposium is organised in a town whose main medieval activity was focused on the metallurgy of copper and brass. Its aim is to present current knowledge of not only the medieval products, techniques, workshops and labour force, but also of the market and trade in these products. This symposium will present the research carried out in history and archaeology of materials and processes with, in some cases, the support of scientific studies.

Announcement

International symposium organised by:

  • The Public Service of Wallonia (SPW)
  • The French National Institute for Preventive Archaeology (INRAP)
  • The Mosan Medieval Heritage Centre (MPMM)
  • And the Regional Cultural Centre at Dinant (CCRD) 

in Dinant and Namur (Belgium, 15, 16 and 17 May 2014

Argument

Copper and its alloys, bronze and brass with varying concentrations of lead, have been used for a long time for making useful and decorative objects. The steep economic and demographic growth of the Middle Ages however abruptly changed the copper-based industries and the market for their products. On the raw materials side, the search for ores intensified. Metals such as copper, tin and lead became more accessible and more affordable. Both the labour force and a strong demand for manufactured goods were concentrated in towns where guilds were being set up and trades were becoming organised. Workshops adapted to a rapidly growing market through specialisation, division of work and rationalisation of techniques, as well as offering cheaper goods. There was a gradual increase in the use of copper and its alloys for making everyday objects – examples include candlesticks, dress accessories such as sequins, decorative studs and belt buckles, but also domestic vessels such as, cauldrons, skillets, ewers, basins and other pots and pans for the kitchen or the dining table. In addition to these common objects, more exceptional ones testify to the diversity of the use of copper and its alloys for high class objects, both secular and liturgical. Made-to-order masterpieces included aquamanilia, candelabra for churches, lecterns or even more colossal works of art such as columns, gates, baptisteries, fountains, funeral monuments and, of course, bells. Copper is equally sought after for hand-crafted products such as boilers for baths or dyers, weighing scales and other measuring instruments. Later in the Middle Ages copper alloys were used for artillery, clock making, and also as brass wire in the paper industry. Finally, copper is a component of the main alloys used in early medieval coinage.

This symposium is organised in a town whose main medieval activity was focused on the metallurgy of copper and brass. Its aim is to present current knowledge of not only the medieval products, techniques, workshops and labour force, but also of the market and trade in these products. This symposium will present the research carried out in history and archaeology of materials and processes with, in some cases, the support of scientific studies.

Sessions

1/ Raw materials and supplies

  • Copper, zinc ore (calamine), tin and lead: mines and beneficiation, trade in raw materials and semi-finished products, supply to towns, economy, etc,
  • Fuels: charcoal and coal,
  • Refractory ceramics: crucibles, moulds, furnaces.

 2/ Craftsmen and workshops

  • Sociology of craftsmen, crafts and documentary sources for them such as workshop inventories, deeds, charters and financial accounts,
  • Topography: workshops in towns,
  • Archaeological excavations of workshops.

 3/ Techniques

  • Alloying, especially brass making,
  • Casting, foundry work,
  • Plastic deformation: smithing, wire drawing,
  • Smelting and melting (alloy making) furnaces,
  • archaeological experiments.

 4/ Products and trade

  • Trade in finished products,
  • Diffusion and circulation of products,
  • Chrono-typological studies (vessels, liturgical artefacts, dress accessories, exceptional products, artillery, etc),
  • Relationships between foundry workers and their patrons,
  • Connections with other materials such as ceramics and iron.

Abstracts submission

Abstracts can be written in either French or English, with a title and the contact details of the main author, and should be sent by email as a Word document and with 2500 characters maximum, including spaces, to laiton.mosan@gmail.com.

Deadline : 30/09/2013

These abstracts will be submitted to the scientific committee.

  •  Languages

Presentations may be made in either French or English; simultaneous translation will be provided at the conference.

  •  Publication

The abstracts of the selected papers will be available on the symposium website (www.laitonmosan.org), as soon as the programme is finalised. Proceedings will be published, in French or in English, after the symposium by the Service public de Wallonie – Département du patrimoine in the collection études et documents – Série archéologie.

Organising Committee

  • Public Service ofWallonia:Jean Plumierand Marc Shepers (SPW)
  • French National Institute for Preventive Archaeology:Nicolas Thomas(INRAP)
  • Mosan Medieval Heritage Centre:Claire-Marie Vandermensbrugghe(MPMM)
  • Dinant Regional Cultural Centre:Marc Baeken

Scientific Committee

  • Christoph Bartels (Deutsches Bergbau-Museum,Bochum)   
  • Justine Bayley(Historical MetallurgySociety,UK)
  • Paul Benoit (Lamop – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
  • Emmanuel Bodart(Archives de l’état, Namur)
  • David Bourgarit(C2RMF)
  • Eric Goemaere(IRSNB, Bruxelles)
  • Robert Halleux (CHST, Liège)
  • Marcos Martinón-Torres(UCL,London)
  • Elisabetta Neri (Université Paris 4 Sorbonne)
  • Jean Plumier(SPW, Namur)
  • Nicolas Thomas(INRAP, Lamop – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
  • Jacques Toussaint (MAAN, Namur)
  • Marie Verbeek (SPW, Namur)
  • Jean-Marie Welter(Luxembourg)

Places

  • Dinant, Belgium

Date(s)

  • Monday, September 30, 2013

Keywords

  • copper, cuivre, brass, laiton, bronze, métallurgie, Moyen Âge, archéométrie, techniques

Contact(s)

  • Nicolas Thomas
    courriel : laiton [dot] mosan [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Nicolas Thomas
    courriel : laiton [dot] mosan [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Medieval copper, bronze and brass – Dinant-Namur 2014 », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, https://calenda.org/247582

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