Mobile Technologies

In this theme we are tracking Trans-Saharan technological change through different archaeological artefacts of metal and glass.

Metals

A metal object shown in both photograph and x-ray viewWe are analysing a range of metal artefacts and metal-working residues from Fazzan to understand the which techniques were used and where the raw materials (iron, tin, copper) came from. By using analyses such as optical microscopy and electron microprobe analysis we hope to better understand the development and transmission of Saharan metalworking.

Glasses

A decorated glass bead shown to be 5cm longWe are studying the remains of vessels, beads and other items made of glass from Fazzan and contextualising them in terms of the history of the trade and production technology of glass. Chemical analytical approaches such as LA-ICP-MS are helping us to understand where and how the glasses were made, the extent of local recycling, and how the material from this area can inform us on trade, technological change and development on a broad scale.

For more on this subject, see the report on our 2015 conference on Mobile Technologies.