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Is a focus on ‘recycling’ useful? A wider look at metal mutability and the chemical character of copper‐alloys

Bray, P. (2022) Is a focus on ‘recycling’ useful? A wider look at metal mutability and the chemical character of copper‐alloys. Archaeometry, 64 (S1). pp. 87-97. ISSN 1475-4754

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12753


Recycling is increasingly visible in archaeological descriptions of technology. This has a range of benefits as we attempt to engage with the full complexity of the material past. However, this paper examines in more detail whether a singular focus on recycling is positive for archaeological science. It considers the historical relationship between recycling and the chemical analysis of early copper alloys, the constraints of the different conceptual and statistical techniques that can be employed, and broader ideas of metal mutability and the characterisation hypothesis. Overall, anything that widens our conceptual toolkit should be welcomed. However, it is most helpful to have recycling emerge from case study data as part of a broader approach, rather than to focus on it as a sole aim. Similarly, the prioritisation of provenance has sometimes not helped the field. Engaging with a wider ‘characterisation hypothesis’ would bring several benefits, and help build collaborations with other areas of archaeology.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
ID Code:102454
Uncontrolled Keywords:Archeology, History
Additional Information:** Article version: VoR ** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router ** Journal IDs: pissn 0003-813X; eissn 1475-4754 ** History: issued 11-01-2022; published_online 11-01-2022 ** License for this article: starting on 11-01-2022, ,


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