Our Newsletter - The Crucible

The Crucible (previously HMS News) is the informal newsletter that keeps HMS members up to date with notices, reviews and reports of relevant events and projects on archaeological and historical metallurgy. It also includes interviews, opinion and discussion essays, letters from around the world, and a list of forthcoming events. It is published three times a year.

Submissions to The Crucible are encouraged from anyone and at any time, but deadlines for each issue are 1st March, 1st July and 1st November every year. Please send submissions to thecrucible@hist-met.org

Our past issues of The Crucible and HMS News can be downloaded as Adobe Acrobat files below.

HMS Newsletter
May 13, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 103

Contains: *The traditional craft of leather bellows-making. *Ladles for the Greenside Mine Lead Smelter. *Early Days of WIRG’s Smelting Experiments. *Early Coalbrookdale Cast Iron Pot. *The Ferro Vivo Project. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
March 9, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 102

Contains: *Alexander Raby – Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Bankrupt. *Copper Bell Casting in Mexico. *Out and About - IL Maglio Museum (more…)
HMS Newsletter
March 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 101

Contains: *Burkina Faso: A new World Heritage listing. *An unusual iron find from Snettisham. *Post-Medieval Refining of Cast Iron. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 10, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 100

Contains: *Metalworking at Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham. *Lead isotope analysis of Roman  anchor stocks from Spain. *Dolgun Blast Furnace 300th anniversary. *Failed Attempt to Revive Ironmaking in the Weald of Southern England.…
HMS Newsletter
January 10, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 099

Contains: *Burghmote Copper Alloy Horns. *Black-Patinated Inlaid Bronzes From Korea. *Understanding the lost wax technique through ethnographic study. *Textile Textured Silver Ingots. *Bronze Age axes in action. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 10, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 098

Contains: *Fake News? Stoney Hazel Forge. *A placement at the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. *Metallic traces of past iron industry from La Barthe, France. *Roman gold mining district in…
HMS Newsletter
January 10, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 097

Contains: *Shock, Horror, the Delhi Pillar is going rusty! *Grey Mottled Cast Iron in the Early China. *Tin and Mercury in Southwest China. *Copper alloy sculpture techniques and history: an…
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 096

Contains: *Celtic-Roman Age Ironmaking in Norway. * Investigation of Ancient Iron Production in Ethiopia. * Ancient Iron Smelting in Iswal, South-East Rajasthan. *A Further Visit to Irish Blast Furnace. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 095

Contains: *An iron and crucible steel production landscape: people and technology. *Short reports on Wealden iron, Medieval objects from London and experiments making iron and gold granulation techniques. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 094

Contains: *A Rare Cast Pig. *Zinc in India. *The Gold Rings of the Colchester Hoard. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 093

Contains: *Iran the land of Archaeometallurgical surprises. *X-Ray Fluorescence the Basics. * Wealden Iron: A summary of the 2016 volume. *A Small Cast Pig (follow up). (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 092

Contains: *Ancient iron metals tracing by iron isotopes analysis. *The Staffordshire Hoard. *Gold and silver in san pedro de atacama, northern chile. *Investigating an enigmatic iron age metallurgical site in…
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 091

Contains: *New analyses of Roman copper alloys. *A possible explanation for the presence of calcium and phosphorus in melting crucibles. *The “who cares”? project. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 090

Contains: *The earliest zinc artefacts. *Silver production in the southern Andes of Bolivia during the 15th to 17th centuries. *The case of Pre-Columbian bronze objects in northwestern Argentina. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 089

Contains: * Sliabh Aughty Furnace Project. *Preserved Bessemer Converters. *Leonardo and steelmaking. *Ancient mining and metallurgy in Argentina. *Finds from Sokol Fortress, Konavle. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 088

Contains: *Some Observations on the Technique of Luted Crucible Metal Casting. *Professor Beno Rothenberg Memorial Lecture: Izumi Shimada. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 087

Contains: *A translation from Swedenborg’s de Ferro. *Brickmaking at Bedlam furnace, Ironbridge. *Wealden Iron Research Group report. *Investigating non-ferrous metalworking in Bronze and Iron Age northwest Europe. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 086

Contains: *Abraham Darby II: A life less ordinary. *Experimental iron smelting in Dorset: practice vs theory. *Bedlam Furnaces - further replies. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 085

Contains: *Acompilation of known Bessemer Converters. *Conservation of architectural ironwork. *Bedlam Furnaces, Ironbridge. *Evidence of the earliest use of steel in Britain uncovered in Scotland. *Wealden Iron Research Group. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 084

Contains: *Gunns Mill Furnace, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. *The origins of HMS. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 083

Contains: *Ancient Mining And Metallurgical Activity In Pangaeon Mount. *Chinese Gold And Silver Production In The 7th-13th Centuries. *The Future Of Archaeometallurgy And Historical Metallurgy. * Metal Detecting And Archaeology…
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 082

Contains: *The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia. *Metal Detecting and Archaeology: A Tale Of Two Methodologies. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

The Crucible: Issue 081

Contains: *Experimental blast furnace in the weald. *Bell mould from East Bridgford church, Nottinghamshire. *Hafod regeneration project. *Henry Bessemer bicentenary. *Mes aynak’s ancient copper mines (Afghanistan). (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

HMS News: Issue 078

Contains: *Non-ferrous metals: The cultural history. *Community Dig finds links to cutlery trade! *New material from Stanwick, North Yorkshire. *Bronze Age Smithing Hammers. *Re-writing the story of hot blast? (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

HMS News: Issue 077

Contains: *The Metal Workshop at Tell Tayinat, Turkey. *Clay mould pieces from Bourton-onthe-Water, Gloucestershire. *Bronze Age metallurgy in the Southern Urals. *HMS Members Solve Mystery? (more…)
HMS Newsletter
January 31, 2020

HMS News: Issue 076

Contains: *Sourcing Lead used in the Peak District during Prehistory. *Cast iron from Brunel’s Paddington bridge. *The origins of the Historical Metallurgy Society. *Wealdon Iron Research Group report. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 1, 2020

HMS News: Issue 075

Contains: *Rio Tinto Mines:A Yorkshire connection? *Two recently discovered ornament horizon pins from Horton, Berkshire. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 1, 2020

HMS News: Issue 074

Contains: *National Heritage Science Strategy. *Early Mines Research Group. *Ingots from the shipwrecks for the British Museum Collection. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 1, 2020

HMS News: Issue 073

Contains: *Rehabilitating Artefact Studies. *Rare Forge gets funding. *Metal detecting two hoards discovered. *Wealden Iron Research Group report. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 1, 2020

HMS News: Issue 071

Contains: *Blast furnace excavations in Ironbridge. *Iron Slag and bloomeries in the Chilterns. *Trostre Works Cottage and Industrial Museum. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 1, 2020

HMS News: Issue 070

Contains: *Copper Production in the British Bronze Age. *Calstock Roman Fort. *Study of 18th- to 20th-century Copper Sheathings in Ships. *Copper metallurgy on the Southern Ural Steppe. *A Survey of…
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 069

Contains: *An Early Zinc-smelting Retort from China. *Iron and cast iron in China: report of a mission. *Iron-smelting in Kamalia, West Africa. *Casting pre-experiments of copper hammer and adze-axes from…
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 068

Contains: *Instrumenting an experimental Sri Lankan wind-driven furnace. *Field Work in 2007 in the Laurion, Greece Area. *A Visit to the Almadén Mercury Mine, Spain. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 067

Contains: *The Corstopitum Penknives. *Völklingen Hütte. *Who is in the HMS? A survey of membership details. *The National Slag Collection. *The Wealden Iron Research Group report. . (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 066

Contains: *Crucible Furnace at Mowbray St, Sheffield. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 065

Contains: *Falling Creek Ironworks. *Wealden Iron Research Group report. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 064

Contains: *Damage to an Important Metallurgy Site Warmley. *Culduthel: an Iron Age smelting site near Inverness. *Swalwell: Pre-Construct Archaeology. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 063

Contains: *Rio Tinto. *Recent Work at AMTeC Co-op: X-rays, casting & education. *Lorn Pig Iron Used for malleable cast iron locks in Staffordshire in 1863. *Metalworking at Mont Beuvray (Bibracte),…
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 062

Contains: *A Roman iron smelting settlement at Caergwanaf, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales. *When is a stone mining hammer not a mining hammer? *A storm in an eggcup: enigmatic objects from…
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 061

Contains: * Investigation of a broken pile-shoe from a Roman bridge. *The Roman Denarius under the Julio-Claudian Emperors: a British angle? *Bower Spring Cementation work. *Wealden Iron Research Group News…
HMS Newsletter
February 3, 2020

HMS News: Issue 060

Contains: *An Ongoing Research Project on Iron Production and Use in the Dogon Country, Mali. *Journeys in Search of Iron. *Further results from Upper Forge, Coalbrookdale. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 059

Contains: * The St Fagans Experimental bloomery. *Spherical Hammerscale and Experimental Blacksmithing. *Excavations at Bashley Britten, Coalbrookdale and El Coyote, Honduras. *Many more reports. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 058

Contains: *Smelting Experiments at Butser. *Charles Dawson and the Earliest Cast Iron: His 100% fake record maintained intact! (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 057

Contains: *Cast Iron from a Bloomery Furnace. *Neumann Bands and Cold-Working Iron. *Medieval Fish-hooks from Kings Lynn. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 056

Contains: *Brunel’s First Bridge ‘Found’ at Paddington. *Metalworking at Minehowe, Orkney. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 055

Contains: *A Good Summer for Iron Smelting Archaeology in Greater Manchester! *Medieval Iron Smelting Site in South Yorkshire. *Investigation of Astrolabes through Synchrotron X-rays. *Henry Cort at Funtley. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 054

Contains: *Geoprospection techniques for metalworking. *Evidence for medieval stamping of copper alloy sheet. *Blacksmithing in 1st Century BC Pompeii.*Europe’s earliest brasses? *Lead Smelting at Combe Martin, Devon. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 053

Contains: *Wortley Top Forge. *Examination of a Crucible Steel Mirror in the British Museum. *Aspects of the Tin Industry in South West England. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 052

Contains: *Sir James Hope and his travels abroad looking at metallurgical processes. *Medieval bloomery site in West Yorkshire. *Prehistoric mines of the Timna Valley, South Israel. *A hobby furnace fuelled…
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 051

Contains: *The Mushets’ Darkhill Ironworks. *Medieval Lead Hearths. *16th & 17th Century smelting of silver-lead ores in Devon. *Embrittlement in silver artefacts. *Quenching of ferrous chain mechanism in Roman well…
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 050

Contains: *RR Angerstein’s Travel Diary, 1753-1755. *Excavation of a Sheffield cutlery and tool making site. *Historic Sheffield Steel. *Bronze Age metalworking debris from Scotland and copper mining in North Wales.…
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 049

Contains: *Massive silver hoard throws light on medieval jewellery making. *The earliest alloy steel? *A real sword in the stone in Tuscany. *New research into metallurgical activity in SW Bulgaria,…
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 048

Contains: *Tondu Ironworks excavations. *Earliest French chalcolithic copper smelting site. *Investigation of copper ores from northern Italy. *A New Timna Mining Park. *Blast Furnace excavated recently in Henan, China. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 047

Contains: *Casting for Cognoscenti. *Roman knives and chisels. *Roman workshops and armour. *Bronze Age ore processing at the Great Orme. *Stamped Markings on Euterpe/Star of India. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 046

Contains: *Gunns Mill. *Medieval iron production and working in the Western Urals. *Ongoing work on ancient Greek helmets. *Corrosion resistance of the Delhi iron pillar. *Old Stamps on the Star…
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 045

Contains: *Fatimid metalworker’s hoard. *Evidence for a medieval/post medieval Welsh ironworks. *Norse iron smelting in Cumbria. *Investigation of an Iron Age gold coin hoard. *Chalybean Steel ancient high-nickel iron. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 044

Contains: *Hoard of silver and bronze objects from Dunmore Cave, Co. Kilkenny. *The Henry Cort Millennium Project, Fareham. *Isaac Wilkinson (1704–1784) and the Little Clifton Blast Furnace (1723–1781) (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 043

Contains: *European Journey. *Bronze Age stone mould from Scotland. *The earliest antimony in Britain? *Lead isotope data from Ross Island. *Spanish Iron Age artefact studies. *Reconstruction of a wrought iron
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 042

Contains: *Metal from Heaven — A Bolt from the blue. *Gads of Steel. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 041

Contains: *Middle Saxon iron smelting furnaces in Cambridgeshire. *East African crucible steel. *Iron and steel industry of Islamic Spain. *Iron smelting in Virginia. (more…)
HMS Newsletter
February 4, 2020

HMS News: Issue 040

Contains: *Early copper smelting site on the Great Orme. *Evidence of coin production in Saxon Thetford. *Migration period die for cross-hatching gold foil. *Experimental iron smelting. *Use of Cast Iron…