Tag Archives: Bronze Age

Creating Replica Bronze Swords with Matt Knight

Matthew Knight, the envy of the PhD office.

Following the success of my funding application before Christmas, I finally embarked on the first of my experimental productions this week. I spent two days working with a brilliant metal-caster, Neil Burridge, in producing replicas of a broken sword from a Bronze Age hoard from St. Erth, Cornwall. Two successful castings were produced and worked in preparation for use and destructive experiments to be undertaken at a later date. Continue reading

Grants Awarded to Exeter Archaeology PhD Students

Two of our PhD students have recently been awarded grants for archaeological experiments and analysis related to their PhD topics!

Alice La Porta

Alice La Porta

Alice La Porta, one of our AHRC SWW DTP PhD students under the supervision of Linda Hurcombe and Rob Hosfield (University of Reading), has been awarded two grants. The first grant will fund Alice’s experiments into the uses of Middle Palaeolithic (i.e. Neanderthal) stone tools, with an emphasis on their performance and subsequent use-traces, for which Alice will be spending time at open-air museums in Germany, Denmark and Finland. The second grant will enable Alice to make a study visit to the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social in Tarragona, to examine a Middle Palaeolithic archaeological collection, with a particular emphasis on use-wear analysis.

Matthew Knight

Matthew Knight, another of our AHRC SWW DTP PhD students, supervised by Linda Hurcombe and Joanna Brück (University of Bristol), has also been awarded a grant for experimental activities. Matt will be conducting experiments with a variety of Bronze Age metal objects that have never been undertaken before. He will be utilising replica daggers, swords, socketed axes and barbed spearheads in a variety of use experiments, before subjecting them to a series of destructive practices to reproduce criteria and conditions seen on prehistoric artefacts. These experiments will result in the first ever reference collection for studying destruction of Bronze Age metalwork.


Very well done to both Alice and Matt; we can’t wait to see the results of your experiments!

Research Seminar #8: PG takeover!

We were treated to a very different kind of research seminar on Friday when three of our PhD researchers bravely took the stage to present on their work. The three students had recently given these papers at EAA Glasgow and were invited to share them with the department, which was great for those who couldn’t make it to Scotland in September! In a break from the usual format, each student gave a 20 minute presentation followed by questions. The turnout was fantastic, it was great to see such support for postgraduate research! There was even a live tweet going on – follow it with the hashtag #PGtakeover.

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The Bronze Age Forum

The Bronze Age Forum cover, illustrated by Kate Verkooijen

The Bronze Age Forum cover, illustrated by Kate Verkooijen

On the 7th and 8th November, the Bronze Age Forum came to Exeter. This event, celebrating the ongoing research by Bronze Age scholars across Europe, only occurs once every two years, so it seemed most apt that it came to our University to coincide with the retirement of our own Bronze Age professor: Anthony Harding. The standard, of course, was high and yours truly had the esteemed position of opening the conference – an act of cruelness or kindness by Anthony depending on your perspective! Papers on the first morning were dominated by metalwork, with some fascinating research on Europe-wide projects being discussed by independent researchers from the likes of Berlin University and Oxford Archaeology, as well as larger project teams, from the British Museum and Leiden University.

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