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Four Field Colloquium: Before the Gold Rush: Prehistoric Metallurgy and the Politics of Value in the Volga-Ural Steppes

Monday, January 20, 2014
5:00 AM

Theories of value and networks have emerged as compelling concepts for approaching practices and interactions involving prehistoric non-ferrous metallurgy in the Eurasian steppes. The importance of gold to later groups like the Scythians is relatively well known, while evidence for earlier practices, which is relatively small, yet ongoing and often preserved in the socially significant context of burials, is less well understood. Archaeometallurgical approaches to these problems in research of Early to Late Bronze Age assemblages from the Samara Valley region are discussed, including recent investigations of gold ornaments and possible connections between Bronze Age gilding techniques and later developments.