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Grant number: RO-10563-69

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA 02139-4307)
Cyril Stanley Smith (Project Director: July 1969 to present)

Comparative Study of Metallurgy in Old and New Worlds

Use of modern metallurgic techniques to determine techniques used in pre-Columbian America and in Cyprus. Excavation of ancient city of Chan Chan in Peru with analysis of gilding techniques. Excavation of copper smelting and foundry sites at Kition in Cyprus. ABSTRACT: Use of methods of modern material science laboratory to examine selected artifacts in order to reconstruct in detail the methods of manufacture. Two-part project: 1) study of gilding techniques in pre-Columbian America, especially to trace the temporal and geographic development of the newly-discovered process used in N. Peru for large masks and other sheet metal "gold" objects; participation of research associate in the Harvard excavation at the ancient city of Chan Chan to seek evidence in the known metal workshops there, with detailed laboratory analysis of materials from the excavation and confirmation of the techniques by duplication; 2) excavation of the copper-smelting and foundry sites at Kition in Cyprus, as part of the major excavation by the Cypriot Department of Antiquities. Continuation of H68-0-86. Since the properties of matter remain constant, the way in which techniques change with time within one culture, and diffuse or originate within different geographic areas can be traced in considerable detail. By relating changes in techniques to other cultural factors, these studies in metallurgy contribute to an understanding of technology's part in the basic human experience. Funds for salaries (research associate, assistant professor, secretary), travel, materials, services, overhead.

Project fields:

Basic Research

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$37,582 (approved)
$37,582 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/1969 – 10/31/1970