EXARC Journal (Feb 2014)

Stone Moulds from Terramare (Northern Italy): Analytical Approach and Experimental Reproduction

  • Monia Barbieri,
  • Claude Cavazutti

Journal volume & issue
no. 2014/1


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A large number of stone moulds, dating to Middle and Late Bronze Age (approximately 1650-1150 BC) has been found in Terramare sites since the 19th century. They were made to produce a wide range of bronze objects, such as ornaments, weapons and tools. Empirical observations of casting experiments revealed that different types of stone do not give the same response to the heat of molten metal. This was the starting point for research that involved a team of geologists, archaeologists and craftsmen and had two principal aims: to identify the types of stone used by Terramare artisans and the possible supplying areas, and to reproduce one axe mould with the same stone chosen in the past to test its characteristics and verify the level of knowledge and skills required in this kind of production.