This is a study of cobblestone tools from metalliferous mine sites in England and Wales dated to the Bronze Age which were most probably used to extract copper ore. The site assemblages studied are from the Great Orme, Copa Hill in Cwmystwyth, Nantyreira, Parys Mountain and Alderley Edge. The majority of the tools are hammerstones used to mine and beneficiate metal ore. Some of these have been modified to facilitate hafting.
The functional uses of these tools have been identified by the form and position of use- wear on a macroscopic level. The recording procedure encompasses cobble morphology, the degree, type and direction of use, breakage patterns, the reuse of tools and tool fragments and the classification of hafting modification. The possibility of tool specialization within tool types has been examined by the analysis of use-wear and cobble shape and size. The analysis of stone hammer size suggests that the Great Orme material is related to specific working techniques employed to extract ore from the different types of ore deposits. Ore comminution has been demonstrated to have been generally achieved by ‘block-on-block’ crushing with flat-sided hammers. Conclusions are draw on the overall efficiency of ore extraction in the Bronze Age and theories on the organization of mining are presented.
The sedimentary form of the cobblestone tools has also been examined, including the identification of natural abrasion marks and features. At Cwmystwyth and the Great Orme possible sources of cobblestones have been studied in order to assess the nature of cobble selection.
Export search results
The export option will allow you to export the current search results of the entered query to a file. Different
formats are available for download. To export the items, click on the button corresponding with the preferred download format.
By default, clicking on the export buttons will result in a download of the allowed maximum amount of items.
To select a subset of the search results, click "Selective Export" button and make a selection of the items you want to export.
The amount of items that can be exported at once is similarly restricted as the full export.
After making a selection, click one of the export format buttons. The amount of items that will be exported is indicated in the bubble next to export format.