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Community, Technology and Tradition (Paperback)

A Social Prehistory of the Great Orme Mine

P&S History > Archaeology > British Archaeology

Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 23fc / 34bw
ISBN: 9789464270907
Published: 23rd May 2024
Casemate UK Academic

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In the second millennium BC, mining for copper ore on the Great Orme, Wales, created one of Europe’s largest surviving prehistoric copper mines. The ore from the mine was smelted into metal that was cast and worked into the rich variety of copper and bronze objects synonymous with the Bronze Age in Britain and Europe.

This book presents an original synthesis and reinterpretation of the complex prehistoric archaeology of the Great Orme mine. It uses previously unpublished data in a novel and comprehensive analysis to determine where, when and how mining took place at this landmark site during the Bronze Age.

The author draws on a wealth of information on the archaeology of the contemporary landscape and practices of metal production and working to examine the social nature of prehistoric mining. Observations are offered and conclusions drawn about who participated in mining; the character of social relations at the mine; the relationship between mining and identity; and how mining for copper ore shaped the miners’ worldview.

Well supported by the evidence and embedded in contemporary theoretical discussions of Bronze Age social life, this significant study establishes an important research agenda for ongoing work at the Great Orme mine and makes a substantial contribution to broader debates about the nature of Bronze Age society. It offers for the first time a fully contextualised interpretation of Bronze Age mining in Britain from the perspective that it was a fundamentally social activity. Community, Technology and Tradition is for anyone interested in prehistoric mining and metallurgy, the British Bronze Age and the archaeology of past lives.

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