Metallurgy of zinc, high-tin bronze and gold in Indian antiquity: Methodological aspects

Srinivasan, Sharada (2016) Metallurgy of zinc, high-tin bronze and gold in Indian antiquity: Methodological aspects. Indian Journal of History of Science, 51 (1). pp. 22-32. ISSN 0019-5235

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Abstract: There are inherent challenges in attempting to explore the trajectory of knowledge production vis-a-vis the use of metals in antiquity. Metallurgical innovations, falling as they would have largely done in the domain of empirical knowledge and expertise, would not necessarily have left a systematic written record in the sense of knowledge production. This enquiry is perhaps even more convoluted in the Indian context where in the first place, there are not many detailed records that have readily come to light concerning mining and metallurgy and in the second place, not much systematic archaeometallurgical research has been undertaken. Nevertheless, this paper attempts to demonstrate the role of archaeometallurgical studies, coupled with ethnoarchaeological studies on continuing artisanal technologies, in such enquiries.The paper also seeks to explore the interplay between functional and cultural imperatives through which one may explain the preferential emergence of certain technologies with respect to debates on knowledge production. It restricts itself to selected case studies providing insights into the archaeometallurgy of high-tin bronzes especially from Iron Age Tamil Nadu, zinc smelting evidence at Zawar, Rajasthan, gold working with respect the Nilgiris, and the high-tin bronze mirror craft of Aranmula, Kerala.
Item Type: Journal Paper
Additional Information: Copyright belongs to the author
Keywords: Archaeometallurgy, Ethnoarchaeology, High-tin bronze, Iron Age, Megaliths
Subjects: School of Humanities > Archaeometallurgy
Programmes > Heritage Science and Society Programme
Divisions: Schools > Humanities
Date Deposited: 30 May 2016 05:18
Last Modified: 30 May 2017 06:00
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    Funders: UNSPECIFIED
    Projects: UNSPECIFIED
    DOI: 10.16943/ijhs/2016/v51i1/48374

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