The spread of alloying in the Eurasian Bronze Age

Science in Archaeology Lunch Talks (SALT)
5 March 2018

Speaker: Professor Mark Pollard, Edward Hall Professor of Archaeological Science, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford

Abstract: As part of the FLAME project, we have assembled a GIS database of around 90,000 chemical analyses from metal objects across Eurasia, from the Atlantic coast of Europe to China. This allows us to look for the first time at large scale chronologically resolved patterning of the alloying of copper with other metals. Alloys with arsenic, antimony, tin and lead will be considered. Consideration will be given to the question of detecting ‘deliberate’ from ‘accidental’ alloying, and the value of using Cumulative Frequency Distribution functions as proxies for ‘Regional Alloying Practice’.

About the speaker: Mark Pollard was born in New Zealand. He received a DPhil in Physics from the University of York, UK, in 1979. After six years as Analytical Research Officer at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, he went to the University of Cardiff, Wales, as a ‘New Blood’ Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry and Archaeology. He was appointed Professor of Archaeological Sciences and Head of the Department of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford in 1990. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Bradford from 2000-2004. Since October 2004, he has been Edward Hall Professor of Archaeological Science at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, and is currently Associate Head (Research) of the Division of Social Sciences in the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He has published approximately 300 academic contributions.