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Paul Eklöv Pettersson


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Social Status through Crucibles


  • Paul Eklöv Pettersson

Summary, in English

This paper focuses on Bronze Age melting crucibles in southern Scandinavia. The shape and purpose of the crucibles have long been known, but the process of making one has not been studied thoroughly. The crucibles have in some cases been reconstructed in order to replicate the casting process or the finished product, but have rarely been the main subject of research. In this paper crucibles found in Broåsen, Grimeton parish in Halland (southern Sweden), are studied. The aim of the study is to investigate the level of skill of the person who made the crucibles. In turn, this can help us understand the social status of the craftsperson. Experiments have shown that crucibles similar to the ones found at Broåsen have a “life expectancy” of at least 20 castings. Since traces of use on the Broåsen crucibles correspond to those on the crucibles used in the experiments, we have to regard the (Broåsen) crucibles as items that were used for multiple castings. This also tells us that there were in this case skilled craftspeople working with crucible production. We may also speculate about the status in society these people would have had because of their skill in making durable tools used in the bronze casting process. When compared to other material in southern Scandinavia it is clear that the quality of the crucibles varies, as does the number of times they were used. Different people with different levels of technological skill and different status in society were therefore connected to this craft. It is possible that it was the casters themselves, the local potter or some other group in society, that made the crucibles; this would differ between contexts.


  • Historisk arkeologi








Lund Archaeological Review




Artikel i tidskrift


Institute of Archaeology, University of Lund


  • Archaeology




  • ISSN: 1401-2189