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The mechanised testing and sequential wear-analysis of replica Bronze Age palstave blades

The mechanised testing and sequential wear-analysis of replica Bronze Age palstave blades
The mechanised testing and sequential wear-analysis of replica Bronze Age palstave blades

There have been few attempts to conduct highly controlled laboratory experiments to isolate how wear propagates on metal artefacts with differing metallurgy during simulated use. This reflects a lack of appreciation for the underlying structure of materials within the production of reference datasets for metalwork wear analysis. Here, we present the use of a drop tower (Instron CEAST 9350) to reconstruct use on replica Bronze Age palstave axes with archaeologically relevant microstructures. The development, form, and properties of surface wear at the cutting edge were sequentially analysed by low-power microscopy (digital), high-power microscopy (Scanning Electron Microscope), and microhardness indentation. Major deformations of the blade were documented by photography. This intensive approach reveals the impact of abrasive wear associated with sharpening and use, as well as the frequency and morphology of larger deformations generated by repeated impact—all of which, we demonstrate, can be overtly modified by subtle differences in metallurgy.

mechanised testing, metallography, metalwork wear-analysis, middle bronze age palstave axes, scanning electron microscope, tin-bronze
0003-813X
Andrews, Miriam
61a71817-9828-48d4-bcff-04d5cd65b266
Polcar, Tomas
c669b663-3ba9-4e7b-9f97-8ef5655ac6d2
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2
Pike, Alistair
e8603e20-0a89-4d57-a294-247b983fc857
Andrews, Miriam
61a71817-9828-48d4-bcff-04d5cd65b266
Polcar, Tomas
c669b663-3ba9-4e7b-9f97-8ef5655ac6d2
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2
Pike, Alistair
e8603e20-0a89-4d57-a294-247b983fc857

Andrews, Miriam, Polcar, Tomas, Sofaer, Joanna and Pike, Alistair (2021) The mechanised testing and sequential wear-analysis of replica Bronze Age palstave blades. Archaeometry. (doi:10.1111/arcm.12685).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There have been few attempts to conduct highly controlled laboratory experiments to isolate how wear propagates on metal artefacts with differing metallurgy during simulated use. This reflects a lack of appreciation for the underlying structure of materials within the production of reference datasets for metalwork wear analysis. Here, we present the use of a drop tower (Instron CEAST 9350) to reconstruct use on replica Bronze Age palstave axes with archaeologically relevant microstructures. The development, form, and properties of surface wear at the cutting edge were sequentially analysed by low-power microscopy (digital), high-power microscopy (Scanning Electron Microscope), and microhardness indentation. Major deformations of the blade were documented by photography. This intensive approach reveals the impact of abrasive wear associated with sharpening and use, as well as the frequency and morphology of larger deformations generated by repeated impact—all of which, we demonstrate, can be overtly modified by subtle differences in metallurgy.

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Restricted to Repository staff only until 6 May 2023.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 May 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 May 2021
Keywords: mechanised testing, metallography, metalwork wear-analysis, middle bronze age palstave axes, scanning electron microscope, tin-bronze

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449485
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449485
ISSN: 0003-813X
PURE UUID: 75d7d4b2-3a9f-40a1-b244-3cbfa8dec296
ORCID for Tomas Polcar: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0863-6287
ORCID for Alistair Pike: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5610-8948

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Jun 2021 16:30
Last modified: 09 Jul 2021 01:45

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