Late Roman Metallurgy in Castro of El     Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara,                  Zamora)                    ...
numerosísimos clavos de hierro, punzones, cuchillos y navajas, arandelasde hierro, elementos indeterminados, etc.         ...
Introduction:         Castro of El Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora), issituated on the borders of the Esla rive...
At the hillfort of El Castillón, the section of the Vía de la Plata thatcrosses this area is the section from Vico Aquario...
this site found an enclosure fortified in a ‘U’ form, with three accesses/gatesin the wall. In the interior of this site w...
Image. 1. Rectangular structure related to a storehouse.Metallurgical works:         In the archaeological excavations of ...
Image 2. Oval structure, excavated during 2007 and 2008, related to                              metallurgical area.      ...
discovered in a very clear archaeological context, perfectly delimited, andthere can be no doubt about its archaeological ...
The stick is made up of an extended piece, convex in its centralpart, narrowing where it is united with the stick and the ...
Earring: One of the more interesting bronze artefacts which hasbeen found a fine circular earring. This slope was found in...
head. Most were found in the housing area, in relation to some of the threestructures documented up to this point. They ap...
It was decided to analyse the metallic artefacts which were in abetter state of conservation, and which, in our opinion, c...
it is a microsegregation of lead since this artefact is not soluble in copper;whereas the low percentage found in copper c...
appeared to be made of bronze, was later determined to be copper. This isthe only copper piece recovered up to this point ...
martensite, which had hardened the piece much more; since its carboncontent must go up to around 0.15% in mass.           ...
moment the corresponding analyses are being done for slags recovered in2008 and 2009.         Most of the slags are compos...
Metallurgic composition of bronze osculatorio:        Weight %: Cu: 87,2%; Sn: 4,8%; Pb: 5,3%; Zn: 2,6%        Composition...
At the moment in the laboratories from Universidad Complutensede Madrid is analyzing by thermoluminescence different roofi...
ALONSO SÁNCHEZ, Mª. A. 1988: “Los “osculatorios”: todavía algomás”. Cuadernos de Prehistoria y Arqueología 13 – 14. Homena...
LARRÉN IZQUIERDO, H; et al. 2003: “Ensayo de sistematización de lacerámica tardoantigua en la cuenca del Duero”. Anejos de...
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Late roman metallurgy in el castro of el castillón

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Late roman metallurgy in el castro of el castillón

  1. 1. Late Roman Metallurgy in Castro of El Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora) Jose Carlos Sastre Blanco (Universidad de Granada)* Patricia Fuentes Melgar (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)**Resumen: Durante los años 2007, 2008 y 2009, se han venido llevando acabo diversas campañas de excavaciones y prospecciones en el castro de ElCastillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora), con una amplia cronologíaque iría desde la Edad del Bronce, a tenor de unas pinturas esquemáticassituadas en una pequeña covacha ubicada en este castro, pasando por laEdad del Hierro, de la cual se han documentado pocos restos hasta elmomento, llegando a la época tardoantigua (siglos IV-VI d.C.) que es laque se han centrado las excavaciones llevadas hasta el momento. Estasexcavaciones, encuadradas dentro del Proyecto de Investigación y Difusióndel Patrimonio Arqueológico Protohistórico sobre la Provincia de Zamora,han manifestado una importante labor metalúrgica en este castro,corroborada con la presencia de dos complejas estructuras ovales degrandes dimensiones, asociadas con el trabajo de diferentes metales. Lagran cantidad de escorias de hierro recuperadas en el interior de estasestructuras, y la gran potencia estratigráfica que poseen las mismas noshablan de una prolongada utilización de esta zona metalúrgica para elprocesado de metales, durante la época tardoantigua (siglos IV-VI a.C.). Este trabajo metalúrgico desarrollado en estas estructuras se vereflejado en una amplia panoplia de elementos metálicos recuperados enlos diferentes sondeos realizados a cabo en este yacimiento, entre los quese encuentran algunos elementos de gran calidad, como un osculatorio debronce decorado por dos aves afrontadas, un pendiente circular de bronce,una hebilla de cobre, unas pequeñas pinzas de bronce, asas de cobre,* Jose Carlos Sastre Blanco (josesastreb@hotmail.com)** Patricia Fuentes Melgar (pf_melgar@yahoo.es)
  2. 2. numerosísimos clavos de hierro, punzones, cuchillos y navajas, arandelasde hierro, elementos indeterminados, etc. Palabras Clave: El Castillón, Zamora, metalurgia, osculatorio,época tardoantigua.Summary: During 2007, 2008 and 2009, excavations and surveys werecarried out in Castro El Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora).Chronologically, the area belongs to the Bronze Age, evidenced by theSchematic Rock Art to be found in a small cave near El Castillón. There are also remains from the Iron Age, such as small pieces ofpottery and other remains discovered during the survey. The finaloccupation of El Castillon took place in the Late Roman period (centuriesIV-VI A.C.). Our current excavations have focused on that period. This researchhas been developed with help from the Project of Investigation andDiffusion of the Archaeological Proto-Historic Patrimony in the Provinceof Zamora. The research on this area has shown that important metallurgicalworks were carried out inside the El Castillón, which was reaffirmed by thepresence of two complex oval structures of great dimensions associatedwith metal processing. The great amount of reclaimed iron slugs inside these structures,and the stratigraphic nature of the deposits, indicate prolonged use of thismetallurgical area for metal processing during the Late Roman period(centuries IV-VI A.C.). The development of metallurgical work in thesestructures is reflected in the wide ranging and impressive array of metallicartefacts recovered from the different areas in El Castillón. We found manyobjects of great quality, like the osculatorio - a piece of bronze decoratedwith two birds. Other pieces include a circular bronze slope, a copper clasp,small bronze tweezers, copper handles, iron nails, striker pins, knives andsmall knives, iron washers, undetermined artefacts, etc. Key words: El Castillón, Zamora, metallurgy, osculatorio, LateRoman period.
  3. 3. Introduction: Castro of El Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora), issituated on the borders of the Esla river, in the province of Zamora, lessthan a kilometer to the southwest of the Puente Quintos. This hillfort islocated on a small hill in the right border of Esla river, in a narrowing ofthe river channel. The archaeological site is located in the farm Dehesa de Tardajos,near to the village of Santa Eulalia de Tábara, in the municipal region ofMoreruela de Tábara (Zamora). The altitude of the site oscillates between740 m and 749 m, and its geographical coordinates are 41º51´20” Northand 5º47´25” West. It has an approximate surface of 3ha and a walledperimeter of about 600 m. This walled perimeter provides a unique line ofdefense that surrounds the establishment, except in the East where there isa deep cliff. El Castillón began in the Bronze Age. We identified a small placewith Schematic Art Rock located in this castro. This place was identified in1987 by Fernández Rivera like Abrigo de El Castillón (FERNANDEZRIVERA, B.; 1987; SASTRE BLANCO, J.C.; 2006). The last historicalevidence is from the Late Roman period, with the wisigothic arrival to theIberian Peninsula in IV-VI A.C. Dating has been possible for thearchaeological excavations conducted between 2007 and 2009. El Castillón and the historical context of the Late Romanperiod in the region of Tábara (Zamora): The Castillón has a privileged location, controlling the Esla riverand next to the Rroman way Vía de la Plata parallel to its left border. In theRoman period El Castillón was in the Conventus Asturum. The Esla riveror Ástura (in Roman period) would serve to delimit between thepopulations astures and vacceos. Vía de la Plata was a route parallel to theEsla river that connected the Roman cities Asturica Augusta (Astorga) withEmerita Augusta (Merida). This was an important route for metalcirculation from the mines of the northwest peninsula. Ancient sources seethis route like a double way with its center in Ocelondurii. In this placethere were two routes, one to Asturica Augusta (Astorga) and another oneto Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza).
  4. 4. At the hillfort of El Castillón, the section of the Vía de la Plata thatcrosses this area is the section from Vico Aquario to Brigeco orBrigaecium. Vico Aquario is one of the mansions mentioned in the Itinerary ofAntonino and in Anonymous of Ravenna. Many author locate Vico Aquarioin Castrotorafe (Riego del Camino), situated to the south of El Castillón. Inthe village of Castrotorafe there are only a few remains of an old medievalcastle, but the occupation of this region dates from preRoman time (during avisit to this castle we found a small piece of pottery with celtibericdecoration, now located in the Museum of Zamora). El Castillón is situated in a privileged place of communications,between two possible mansions of the Vía de la Plata, Vico Aquario to thesouth and Pretorion to the north. But it is possible to emphasize anotherimportant archeological site near El Castillón, only about 7 km to the southof El Castillón, this site is the Dehesa de Misleo (SEVILLANOCARVAJAL, F.V. ; 1978). In Dehesa de Misleo evidence was found ranging from pre-Romanto Early Medieval times. The most represented periods in Dehesa de Misleoare the Roman and Wisigothic periods. This archaeological site has still notbeen excavated, but fabulous pieces have been recovered through fortuitousfindings. A small treasure hoard from the Roman period was discoveredwith more than 200 coins, including some from the Augustus period toGallienus and Claudius II the Gothic. In this site a Roman cemetery waslocated which included a very important deposit with Omega fibulae, rings,cases of bronze daggers, etc. These remains are from II-III A.C. (PÉREZCENTENO, Mª.R.; 1990). To the south of castro of El Castillón, in the left border of the Eslariver we had one of the most important archeological sites from the LateRoman period in the province of Zamora. The Cristo de San Estebán(Muelas del Pan) has numerous similarities with El Castillón, mainly thestamped pottery and the Terra Sigillata Hispanica tardía (TSHt). Numerousremains from the Iron Age until the Late Roman period were found at thisarchaeological site (DOMÍNGUEZ BOLAÑOS, A.; 1993)Archaeological Investigations in El Castillón: The first reference to the hillfort of El Castillón was in 1970, fromVirgilio Sevillano in his investigatión about the province of Zamora:Archaeological testimonies of the province of Zamora. The first surveys of
  5. 5. this site found an enclosure fortified in a ‘U’ form, with three accesses/gatesin the wall. In the interior of this site were the circular and rectangularstructures, in many areas altered by the presence of corrals and shepherdhuts. This house used some stones from the wall for its construction. In surveys, Esparza Arroyo found different materials such as ironslags, glasses, and abundant pieces of pottery, expecially Terra SigillataHispanica tardia (TSHt), but no evidence of the Iron Age. The first theoryabout this castro was as a site from the Late Roman period, IV-V A.C., withno evidence before this period. (ESPARZA ARROYO, A.; 1986). In 2007 a new archaeological project about preRoman and LateRoman history in the province of Zamora began, under the denomination:Archaeological Project of Research and Diffusion of the ProtohistoricalHeritage of the province of Zamora (P.I.D.P.A.D.Z.), with the firstexcavations in El Castillón directed by Jose Carlos Sastre Blanco(University of Granada) and Oscar Rodriguez Monterrubio (UniversityAutónoma of Madrid) (RODRIGUEZ MONTERRUBIO, O., and SASTREBLANCO, J.C. ; 2008). The survey works inside El Castillón documented 11 possiblecircular structures of 4x1.90 m in diameter to the West and three possiblerectangular structures of 13.30x7.76 m located to the East. El Castillón has three different accesses or gateways in theenclosure. The most important of these accesses is in the Western area andis the main entrance. Another access is in the North-East area, descendingto the Esla river. The third access is to the South. The defensive wall ismore than 4 meters in width, and approximately 10 meters in height. Theconstruction technique was very simple - great rectangular stones ofquartzite were used, without using mortar. The main access was reinforcedby two casamatas, one to each side of the gateway, and a small rectangularentrance tower in the right of this gateway. The three campaigns of excavations undertaken in 2007, 2008 and2009 concentrated on the excavation of the zone to the West of the wall, ontwo circular structures located to the North of the castro, in relation tometallurgical works and the residential area and of storage located in thecentral zone of El Castillón, where the most significant remains werelocated; a bronze “osculatorio”. Different remains from excavations have a chronology thatincludes the Iron Age, as demonstrated by small pottery fragments made byhand, to Wisigothic–Late Roman period IV-VI A.C., demonstrated mainlyby stamped gray pottery.
  6. 6. Image. 1. Rectangular structure related to a storehouse.Metallurgical works: In the archaeological excavations of 2007 and 2008, an ovalstructure almost totally related to metal work was excavated. This structurehas convergent walls and a small entrance 40 centimeters in width, with twogreat vertical quartzite blocks at either side. In relation to the structure andthe numerous iron slags obtained in its interior, we can suppose that it is afurnace and that this zone of El Castillón was dedicated to metallurgicalworks, therefore demonstrating the analyses made in relation to iron slagsby the Department of Science of the Materials and MetallurgicalEngineering of Faculty of Chemical Sciences of the UniversityComplutense of Madrid.
  7. 7. Image 2. Oval structure, excavated during 2007 and 2008, related to metallurgical area. The metellic remains found in El Castillón are not iron slags (ironsilicates) from furnaces for reduction of the iron. Instead, they are fromfragments for the forge and the steel cooled by the air. It has been possibleto deduce that they were smooth steel and of low carbon content, and thesehigh quality pieces suggest the presence of well qualified blacksmiths.Ringwoodita is also present in the iron slags; Cáceres is the only place inthe Iberian Peninsula in which this mineral is found. This indicatescommercial interaction between El Castillón and the Vía de la Plata. Thearchaeological excavation from 2008 documented 469 iron slag fragmentswith a gross weight of 13.930 kg. Metallic remains from El Castillón. The metallic material from El Castillón discovered from 2007 to2009 was divided according to metallic composition; bronze, iron andcopper, with a special section for the iron slags. Bronze artefacts: Osculatorio: “Osculatorio” was discovered in El Castillón in2008. This osculatorio is an important new find within the investigation ofthe Late Roman period in the Iberian Peninsula. This osculatorio was
  8. 8. discovered in a very clear archaeological context, perfectly delimited, andthere can be no doubt about its archaeological interpretation. In similarcases in the Iberian Peninsula where these objects have been discovered inLate Roman tombs, there was not a lot of information about the real use ofthis object. Other osculatorios were discovered in survey works, withoutarchaeological context, and some were recovered from the Rastro of Madrid(antiquities market). The osculatorio from El Castillón was discovered in a cleararchaeological context, inside a room which was excavated in 2008 and2009. This room may have been a storehouse, as a great amount of potterysuch as pots, bowls, jars, plates, and large earthen jars or dolias werediscovered. The osculatorio discovered in El Castillón is in an excellent state ofconservation as it is complete. It consists of three perfectly differentiatedparts - ring, stick and head (the decorated area). It was make using a mold,with an alloy of copper, tin, lead and zinc. Its overall length is 112 mm. The ring of this osculatorio is circular, with a diameter of 22 mm.The ring was formed using a small flattened sheet, which gives it a fragileconsistency. Image 3. Osculatorio found in Castro of El Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora) in 2008.
  9. 9. The stick is made up of an extended piece, convex in its centralpart, narrowing where it is united with the stick and the head (we mustremember that it is a massive piece, made using a mold, and that for thatreason it consists of only one piece and not three). This stick is 70 mm inlength. Perhaps the most interesting part of the osculatorio is the head,since it is what makes this piece unique. In the case of the osculatorio fromEl Castillón the head is made up of a pair of birds (possibly doves) facingeach other, united at the tip. These birds are placed on a small pedestal. Theanatomical characteristics of these birds are very noticeable, small incisionswere used to mark the plumage, the tip and the eyes. This type of artefact is relatively common, although to date only afew have been located within an archaeological context. We can mentionsome of the most interesting cases of all those found in the IberianPeninsula, like Simancas (Valladolid), Las Merchanas (Salamanca), LasPizarras (Segovia), Suellacabras (Soria), Clunia (Burgos), Merida(Badajoz), la Torrecilla (Madrid), Segobriga (Cuenca), Carpio de Tajo(Toledo), Azúa (Alava), Montefrio (Granada), etc. indicating an ampledispersion of this type of artefact. Image 4. Detail of the head of osculatorio, with the two birds unit by the tip.
  10. 10. Earring: One of the more interesting bronze artefacts which hasbeen found a fine circular earring. This slope was found in the area of thehouse used as a storehouse. This object is currently being analysed. Handle: During the 2008 excavation, a bronze artefact associatedwith a circular handle fragment was recovered. It was recovered in the areanominated as the metallurgical zone. We have not been able to ascertain if itcorresponds with an object made in the furnaces, or is an artefact related tothe metalwork. Bronze tweezers: Another one of the bronze artefacts recovered inthe castro of El Castillón were tweezers of Roman typology. As this wasdiscovered during the 2009 excavation, analysis is ongoing so no furtherdata is available at present. Copper artefacts: Washers: A small washer or copper clasp of reduced dimensions.It was found inside one of the ovoid structures related to the furnaces. It isthe only copper piece documented from the site at present. Image. 5. Bronze tweezers, recovered during the archaeological excavations of year 2009. Iron artefacts: Nails: Nails are one of the more common metallic artefacts foundin El Castillón. The majority of them are of great size, with a noticeable
  11. 11. head. Most were found in the housing area, in relation to some of the threestructures documented up to this point. They appear generally inarchaeological contexts associated with the ceiling of the house, thoughsome could also belong to doors or windows of these rooms. Perhaps themost remarkable nail is the one which appears to be associated with thebronze osculatorio, suggesting the possibility that the artefact may havebeen hung on this nail at the time of the rooms’ collapse. Striker pins: During the excavations of 2007 two extended strikerpins were located in the house zone. These iron striker pins were placed inareas determined to be the outer area of the houses. These areas have not yetbeen excavated, hence we cannot determine if they would be related tosome artisan utility. Knives: Until now two knives have been recovered, one during the2008 excavation and one during the 2009 excavation. Both are made of ironand are small in size. One was found in the metallurgical zone and the otherin the zone of houses. Regarding the knife from the metallurgical zone, wehave not been able to determine if it would have some function related tothe treatment of the metal. The knife from the housing area was discoveredin a storehouse room. Handles: Only one fragment of iron handle has been located up tothis point. This was found during the 2009 excavation and as of now studyis ongoing. Nevertheless, we can say that it is an iron handle, of small size,corresponding to a container of small dimensions. Slags: The majority of slags discovered in the excavations of 2007 and2008 were found in the metallurgical zone. During the 2008 excavation, 469fragments of slag were gathered in this area. The total weight of this slag is13.930 kg, which shows us the importance of the slag within the findings ofthe Castillón, and the importance of the metallurgic work in El Castillón. Metallurgical analysis of different metals from El Castillón. First we must give thanks to Professor Dr. D. Antonio J. the CriadoPortal and the Department of Science of the Materials and MetallurgicalEngineering of the Group of Investigation of Technology Mechanic andArqueomateralia of University Complutense of Madrid, for the analysis ofall the metallic pieces recovered during these excavations and for theircollaboration with the Archaeological Project of Research and Diffusion ofthe Protohistorical Heritage of the Province of Zamora (P.I.D.P.A.D.Z.).
  12. 12. It was decided to analyse the metallic artefacts which were in abetter state of conservation, and which, in our opinion, could offer betterresults. We used varying techniques to study and analyse the metallicartefacts, with Radiology only been used in the case of the osculatorio. Thetechniques employed were:- Sweep Electronic Microscope (M.E.B.).- Conventional Optical Microscopy.- X -Ray Diffraction.- Radiology In the case of the osculatorio, the following results were obtained.It is a bronze piece with several alloy artefacts - tin, lead and zinc. The X-Ray Diffraction identified the tin bronze. It was possible to obtain an image by Sweep ElectronicMicroscope – the gray tonality against the segregations of whiter colorindicates artefacts heavier than the copper, ie tin, lead and zinc. Image 6. Image of the X-Ray realises to osculatorio discovered in Castro of El Castillón (Santa Eulalia de Tábara, Zamora). It was possible to identify four characteristic zones that have beenanalyzed; the analysis of a general zone (1), shows the global compositionof the bronze of the osculatorio, ie. Cu: 87´2%; Sn: 4´8%; Pb: 5´3%; Zn:2´6%. The analysis of the zone (2), gave the following composition: Cu:19´3%; Pb: 80´7%, in which the high percentage of lead indicates to us that
  13. 13. it is a microsegregation of lead since this artefact is not soluble in copper;whereas the low percentage found in copper can be due to the first effect. The analysis of (3) offers the following composition: Cu: 32´38%;Pb: 67´6%. As in the case of the previous zone (2), it is another leadsegregation with a first effect of copper. Finally, the analysis of the zone indicated as (4) gave the followingcomposition: Cu: 92´7%; Sn: 5´33%; Zn: 1´97%, being a very smallsegregation, the first effect is very great, the reason why this composition issimilar to the matrix but with the lead absent. Image 7. Micrography of osculatorio by Conventional Optical Microscopy (X500). The zinc present is of little importance in these bronzes, since itdoes not change mechanical characteristics. It gives a yellower color to thebronze and improves its ability. The presence of these segregations filling up the interdendriticspaces, during the solidification. The x-rays show that what was obtainedwas a piece without internal defects. Also, the x-rays indicate that thecorrosion visible is very superficial and there are no punctures in theosculatorio. The marks on the surface were produced after the moulding bymechanical engraving. We can also make reference to the analysis of other metallic piecesfrom El Castillón,. The washer or clasp of copper, which during excavation
  14. 14. appeared to be made of bronze, was later determined to be copper. This isthe only copper piece recovered up to this point in the ongoing excavation. Image 8. Laboratory Universidad Complutense de Madrid. It measures 1.5x2 cm and was identified as copper using X-Raysdiffraction and the analysis of Energies Dispersives (EDS-EDX). The studyof difractograma, besides showing that it is copper of great purity, detectedparticles such as silicates had adhered to it. The micrographs obtained bySweep Electronic Microscope demonstrated that it was forged in coldtemperatures. Regarding the fragment of iron handle, the study of SweepElectronic Microscope indicated that it is very smooth steel, with carboncontent inferior to 0.1% in mass. Microstructure shows a steel made up oflittle homogenous ferrite grains with small aged pearlite colonies. The agingof pearlite is the result of the passage of time. A small iron knife was also analysed. Metalographic studydemonstrated that it was warmed up intentionally to obtain a greaterhardness. Micrographic obtained by means of Sweep Electronic Microscopea non circular structure is observed corresponding with a steel that has beentempered. It was forged using heat and, later, cooled in water. The acicularferrite appears with secreted iron carbide multitude in its interphases, aproduct of the natural aging through time. One did not temper with
  15. 15. martensite, which had hardened the piece much more; since its carboncontent must go up to around 0.15% in mass. Image 9. X-Rays diffraction analysis of osculatorio. Of the numerous nails recovered in El Castillón, the best two wereanalysed.The first is a very smooth steel nail, with a carbon content inferiorto 0.1% in mass, forged in heat and cooled in air. It is a ferritic matrix, withsome small pearlite colonies very aged in the grain boundaries. The other nail is very smooth steel, with a carbon content inferiorto 0.1% in mass. Observed in the micrographs, obtained by SweepElectronic Microscope, is a very clean ferritic matrix of impurities, withsome pearlite colonies very aged in the grain boundaries of ferrite and somevery small idiomorphics iron carbides inside these grains. The steel was forged in heat and cooled in the air. This isevidenced in the presence of those idiomorphics iron carbides inside theferritic grains, which appeared by natural aging through time, as a result ofa strong degree of subcooling that supersaturated the ferrite. Also the agedand degenerated pearlite demonstrates natural aging. Finally, with regard to the slags recovered in El Castillón, whichare the majority of the metallic materials found up to this point, we willconcentrate only on the analysis of slags gathered in 2007, since at the
  16. 16. moment the corresponding analyses are being done for slags recovered in2008 and 2009. Most of the slags are composed of iron silicates very contaminatedby the soils there were located in. Some slags were found that did not comefrom furnaces of iron reduction. The study of the structure of the steel fragments,that still had ametallic nucleus, has been able to determine that it would be smooth steel,of low content in carbon, hipoeutactoides (0.1% to 0.2% of carbon in mass),forged in heat and cooled by air. The content of impurities was correct forgood quality steel. This chemical composition and the correct use of theforge and its heat, suggests to us the presence of skilful blacksmiths whomanufactured good quality pieces. Conclusion about the analysis of bronze osculatorio:Analysis of bronze osculatorio by Sweep Electronic Microscope (M.E.B.),X-Rays diffraction, Conventional Optical Microscopy and Radiology, giveus a complete information about a very interesting and important artefact inthis historical period. Complete composition and manufacture of thisartefact is an indicative of the presence in the place of professionalblacksmith. Image 10. Analysis of osculatorio by Sweep Electronic Microscope (M.E.B.)
  17. 17. Metallurgic composition of bronze osculatorio: Weight %: Cu: 87,2%; Sn: 4,8%; Pb: 5,3%; Zn: 2,6% Composition of bronze osculatorio have an important content incopper (87,2%), and an important content in lead (5,3%). Content in lead isvery important for hardness of this artefact. The most interesting element discover in the composition of theosculatorio by Sweep Electronic Microscope is zinc (2,6%). Zinc is onlyimportant in this composition for later engraving of this artefact. Chronology: The earliest remains from El Castillón are from the Iron Age, suchas small pieces of pottery and some remains discovered during the survey,and the Schematic Rock Art situated in a small cave next to this hillfort. The final occupation of El Castillon took place in the Late Romanperiod (IV-VI A.C.). We have a lot of references from this period, includingthe Terra Sigillata Hispanica tardía (TSHt) and stamp pottery. There areimportant references about this chronology, especially in el Cristo de SanEstebán (Muelas del Pan), in the south of El Castillón. The most important piece used to date this site is the bronzeOsculatorio. The only references to this type of artefact pertain to the LateRoman period, between centuries IV-VI A.C. We have very clear and complete archeological contexts for thedifferent objects and structures at the site, but C-14 dating needs to beutilised to gain more specific dates.
  18. 18. At the moment in the laboratories from Universidad Complutensede Madrid is analyzing by thermoluminescence different roofing tiles,bricks and adobes. With this analysis is possible have a important datationfor this archaeological site, and expecially comparation the dates fromthermoluminescence, with the dates from poterry or metals. Conclusions: The excavations from 2007 to 2009 have provided an important listof metallic materials, plus diverse structures related to metal work. Two oval structures excavated during 2007 and 2008 were provento relate to the metal work, thanks to the structure and great amount of slagsrecovered inside the structures. The quality of steel studied demonstrated an excellent knowledgeof the reduction processes to obtain the original pellets or lupias in thefurnaces. The examined steels are all of a great quality; the carbon content isvery low. All show strong natural aging, as is clear from the few presentpearlite colonies. According to the data collected up to now, we can speak of steelforged in heat and cooled in the air, with the exception of one of the nailswhich was cooled in water. The metallic object of most interest from all artefacts found up tothis point is the bronze osculatorio, which was made using a mold. TheOsculatorio is one of only a few pieces of this type that were found in aclear archaeological context, and unique in that it can be related tometallurgical structures. Although with the data that we have at themoment, it is not possible to conclusively determine that this piece wasmade here and not brought in from another place, it seems to us areasonable hypothesis. The objective for future excavations is to continue working in themetallurgical area, and to document the exact dimensions in all areas, thedifferent functions of the diverse structures, and the type of objects thatwere made at this site.Bibliography:ALONSO AVILA A. 1985: Suevos y visigodos en el territorio actual de laprovincia de Zamora. Zamora: Studia Zamorensia Vol. VI.
  19. 19. ALONSO SÁNCHEZ, Mª. A. 1988: “Los “osculatorios”: todavía algomás”. Cuadernos de Prehistoria y Arqueología 13 – 14. Homenaje al Prof.Gratiniano Nieto. Vol. II. Madrid. pags: 107 – 120.ARAGONESES, M. J. 1953: Artes menores previsigodas: anillas con astilde remate tronco – piramidal. Madrid: Revista de Archivos Bibliotecas yMuseos, nº LIX.ARASA, F. 1991: Un “osculatori” i dues plaques de cinturó de la comarcadels Ports (Castelló). Valencia : Saguntum, nº24.BRAGADO TORANZO, J. Mª. 1990: “Aproximación al estudio de la redviaria romana en la provincia de Zamora”. I Congreso de Historia deZamora. Instituto de Estudios Zamoranos, Zamora. pags: 379- 408.CABALLERO ZOREDA, L. 1995: “Zamora en el transito de la EdadAntigua a la Edad Media. Siglos V – X”. Historia de Zamora, Tomo I. Delos orígenes al final del Medievo, Zamora. Zamora. pags.: 339 – 430.CASTILLO CÁCERES, F. 1994: “Notas sobre cuatro remates deremovedores de perfume u “osculatorios” inéditos”. Boletín ArqueológicoMedieval, nº8. Madrid. pags: 189 – 203.DIAZ MARTINEZ, P. C. 1986: “La modalidad del asentamiento suevo ysus consecuencias”. Studia Zamorensia, nº7. Zamora. pags.: 353-365.DOMÍNGUEZ BOLAÑOS, A. 1993: “Avance de las excavacionesarqueológicas en el Castro de San Esteban, Muelas del Pan, 1989”. Anuariodel Instituto de Estudios Zamoranos “Florian de Ocampo”. Zamora. pags.:201 – 209.DOMÍNGUEZ BOLAÑOS, A y NUÑO GONZALEZ, J. 2001: “Aspectosmilitares del Cristo de San Esteban, en Muelas del Pan (Zamora). Unasentamiento en la frontera suevo-visigoda”. Mil Anos de Forticações naPenínsula Ibérica e no Magreb (500-1500): Actas do SimposioInternacional sobre Castelos. Lisboa. pags.: 105-120.ESPARZA ARROYO, A. 1986:. Los castros de la edad del hierro delnoroeste de Zamora. Zamora: Instituto de estudios zamoranos Florián deOcampo (Diputación de Zamora).FERNÁNDEZ GUERRA, A. 1879: “Monumentos cristianos españolesantiquísimos e inéditos”. La Ilustración Católica, nº 39. Madrid. Pag.: 307.FERNANDEZ RIVERA, B. 1987: Aproximación al estudio de las pinturasrupestres esquemáticas del abrigo de El Castillón, Santa Eulalia de Tábara(Zamora). Zamora: Studia Zamorensia.FUENTES DOMÍNGUEZ, A. 1988: “Sobre los denominados“osculatorios”: a propósito de dos ejemplares conquense”s. Cuadernos dePrehistoria y Arqueología 13 – 14.. Madrid. pags: 205 – 217.
  20. 20. LARRÉN IZQUIERDO, H; et al. 2003: “Ensayo de sistematización de lacerámica tardoantigua en la cuenca del Duero”. Anejos de Aespa XVIII.Mérida. Pags: 273 - 306.MORIN DE PABLOS, J. 2006: “Arqueología del poblamiento visigodo enel occidente de la Meseta Norte (siglos V-VIII)”. Zona Arqueológica, nº 8,Madrid. pags. 175-216PAPI RODES, C. 1999: Remate de “osculatorio” de probable simbologíacristiana. Madrid: Boletín del Museo Arqueológico Nacional. Tomo XVII.PÉREZ CENTENO, Mª.R. 1990: “El poblamiento romano en Zamoradurante el siglo III d. C.”. I Congreso de Historia de Zamora. Instituto deEstudios Zamoranos. Zamora. pags.: 445-454.PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ, C. Y REYES HERNANDO, O. 2005: “Las Pizarras,Coca (Segovia). Campaña de excavaciones 2003”. Oppidum nº1.Universidad SEK. Segovia. Pags: 59-102.RODRÍGUEZ MONTERRUBIO, O. y SASTRE BLANCO, J. C. 2008:“Aproximación a los trabajos de investigación en los Castros de Peñas de laCerca y El Castillón (Zamora)”. I Jornada de Jóvenes en InvestigaciónArqueológica: Dialogando con la cultura material. UniversidadComplutense de Madrid. Madrid. pags: 271 – 278.SASTRE BLANCO, J. C. 2006: Una aproximación a la puesta en valor delarte esquemático y su paisaje. La Sierra de la Culebra (Zamora). Granada:Revista electrónica del Programa de Doctorado “Arqueología y Territorio”.Universidad de Granada.SEVILLANO CARVAJAL, F.V. 1978: Testimonios arqueológicos de laprovincia de Zamora. Zamora: Instituto de Estudios Zamoranos “Florian deOcampo”.http://zamoraprotohistorica.blogspot.com

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