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Stratum plus. 2017. No2

N. V. Ryndina (Moscow, Russian Federation)

On the Production Technology of Metal Vessels of the Maykop Culture (the North Caucasus)

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Pages: 101-118

Despite varied approaches to investigation of Maykop metal vessels no serious attempts have been made till now to present an assessment of technology used for their production. This article considers twelve vessels made of arsenical bronzes and copper from the standpoint of the production modes used. The vessels were first analyzed visually with the help of binocular magnifying glass and then by microstructure analysis of the metal used for their production. As a result, we succeeded to single out four technological schemes of vessel shaping. The first scheme consists in lost wax casting of a vessel with subsequent hammering of its body. The second scheme is represented by complicated modes of vessel paddling from a cast disc-like blank finally subjected to annealing which resulted in metal hardness reduction. The third scheme was applied to the vessels with the bodies constructed from a number of sheet-metal details welded together, while the neck was shaped by additional pouring of a portion of melt over the upper part of non-finished object. The fourth scheme consisted in riveting together three or two parts of a vessel, each part being casted separately and joined to one another with horizontal rows of rivets. The complicated technologies traced by the analytical study give grounds to conclude, that production of metal vessels in the Maykop milieu was developed by highly specialized professional craftsmen. No other cultural group both in Eastern Europe or the Near East had reached such skills in shaping vessels of copper and bronze as the Maykop specialists.

Keywords: North Caucasus, Bronze Age, Maykop culture, prehistoric metalworking, vessels of copper and bronze, production technology

Information about author:

Natalia Ryndina
(Moscow, Russian Federation). Doctor of Historical Sciences. M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. Lomonosov Ave., 27/4, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]

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