Trans-Saharans 2015: Recycling Workshop

Workshop report

Delegates viewing a presentation on a big screenRecycling is emerging as a crucial consideration in archaeometry, as it has a profound effect on the interpretation of chemical signatures and attempts to provenance materials; but it is also worthy of archaeological interest in its own right, as it is intimately bound up with the relationship between humans and materials. Our aim at this workshop was to bring together individuals at the forefront of investigating metal and glass recycling from a range of perspectives, in order to start a conversation between us and to frame the sorts of questions we should be asking of our data, as well as considering future strategies for researching this theme.

Workshop programme

Session 1: Metals

  • Thomas Fenn Metallurgical Evidence for Recycling in West Africa
  • Marianne Moedlinger Out-of-Equilibrium Phase Diagrams and Loss of As
  • Peter Bray Metal Chemistry, Long-Term Trajectories and Large Geographical Regions
  • Discussion on Metal Recycling chaired by Aurelie Cuenod

Session 2: Glass

  • Ian C. Freestone Recycling and Conservation in Roman Glass Production
  • Victoria Sainsbury Integrating the Socio-Cultural and the Chemical
  • Discussion on Glass Recycling chaired by Caroline Jackson

Delegates in conversation

Session 3: Round Table

Chairs: Chloe Duckworth and Aurelie Cuenod

The discussion focused upon several key themes, including:

  • Data sharing (centralisation, structure, maintenance and quality)
  • Reference materials for archaeometric analysis
  • The meaning and theory of recycling