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Metal Production In Late Antiquity: From Continuity Of Knowledge To Changes In Consumption

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Chapter Summary

The study of metal production in Late Antiquity falls between the Early Roman period and the Early Middle Ages?both of which left a more lasting impression. Late Antiquity marks an ambiguous boundary, or rather a period of transition in which significant continuity of knowledge of ancient techniques can be found, although sometimes translated into new forms, as a result of: a crisis in extraction activities of the central government; of contacts between peoples who brought with them different traditional techniques; and of changes in use, whether utilitarian or not. To examine these phenomena, three methods can be applied: firstly, one can differentiate products through their technical details; secondly, one can quantify production, and thus the metal that was actually available to the different social groups; thirdly, one can undertake archaeometallurgical research on sites of particular interest.

Keywords: archaeometallurgical research; Early Middle Ages; Early Roman period; Late Antiquity; metal production



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