Archaeology Datasheet 01

Crucibles and moulds

Crucibles and moulds are fairly easy to recognise and their identification should alert the fieldworker to the presence of metalworking on site. This provides an early opportunity to link the finds to associated materials (like scrap and waste metal, furnace lining and slags) and structural features, such as hearths.

Some of the vessels that may be identified as crucibles in the course of excavations were actually used for processes other than metal melting. Glass working is one of these processes (the vitreous deposits are relatively homogeneous and are mainly inside the crucible). Precious metals were refined using vessels that can be confused with crucibles; these processes and the finds associated with them are described in Datasheet 2.

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