Research in Progress Meeting

Colour Horizontal

Tuesday 6th November 2018
Kings Manor, York
Vanessa Castagnino

Online bookings is closed as the event is full. Please contact the event organiser to go on the reserve list.

This meeting is aimed at a wide variety of contributors, from historical and archaeological metallurgists to excavators, historians, and economists. If you are working, or have just finished working, on a project related to archaeological or historical metallurgy, we would like to hear from you. We are particularly interested in bringing together contract and public-sector archaeologists with academic researchers, and in fostering links between the different disciplines studying metallurgy and related activities. Whether you are a student, a researcher, an interested non-specialist, or a professional excavator, we invite you to meet others working in this field and present your research to an interested community.

A prize is awarded for the best presentation by a student (or recent graduate within 12 months of graduation) at the meeting as chosen by those members of HMS Council present.

NEW! In addition to the prize, The Historical Metallurgy Society is offering a small number of travel bursaries for students presenting papers. If you are a student and would like to be considered, please indicate with your submission.

Call for papers details here

Link to provisional programme is here

Online bookings is closed as the event is full. Please contact the event organiser to go on the reserve list. The cost for this meeting is £30 for members and £15 for students, which includes tea/coffee and lunch.

For those in York and fancy dinner, join us at Las Iguanasin (21 Back Swinegate) at 7.00pm (please email the organiser below if you would like to join us), followed by The Hole In The Wall (9 High Petergate) from 9pm for a pint of real ale!

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


What's Mined is Yours:
Making the most of our Metallurgical Heritage


HMS AGM and British Museum joint conference

Saturday 16th June 2018
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
British Museum

Loic Boscher

Aude Mongiatti


The study of historical and archaeological metallurgy is arguably at a turning point, having evolved out of the shared interests of industrial metallurgists, geologists, and archaeologists, it has coalesced into a discipline in its own right. Contemporary research is now un ravelling ever more information embedded within metallurgical remains, from the aesthetic significance of objects to the valuable material information contained within degradation and manufacturing waste products holding socio-cultural insights about trade and technologies. Helped along by technological advances, these new interpretative techniques have not been exclusively driven by esoteric academic pursuits but equally so by an increasing public awareness of the value of our metallurgical heritage. This is due to a confluence of social, political, and economic changes happening over the last few decades. Indeed, the normalising of metal detecting in many countries, the rising popularity of archaeology in the mainstream media, and the continued onward march of urban development highlighting the threat to a rapidly disappearing industrial landscape have all played a role in altering political and public perceptions of what constitutes valuable heritage. The challenge now lies in managing the ever expanding mountain of material, landscapes, and data available while simultaneously catalysing this wave of public interest to help preserve our metallurgical past. 

The British Museum and the Historical Metallurgy Society would like to invite submissions for papers and poster presentations for this one day conference and the Socitety's AGM on the topic of the archaeology, conservation, analysis, and/or presentation of metallurgical heritage. A broad interpretation of this topic is welcomed, as are submissions from related fields, but we particularly encourage discussion within the following themes:

New approaches to the analysis and conservation of metallurgical remains and metallic objects
• Metallurgy, metals, and museums
• Metallurgical and industrial landscapes
• Public involvement and engagement

Link to the provisional programme is available here.

Booking is available through the British Museums booking system, we advise early booking as this event will be open to the general public as well as HMS members (who gain a discount). There is no charge to attend the AGM but if you intending to attend the AGM only, please inform the conference organisers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Archaeometallurgy in Europe 2019


19th to 21st of June
Miskole, Hungary


These conferences represent the most important forum for scientific discussion on early metalworking in Europe and other related regions of the Old World. The most important goal of this scientific symposium is to present new insights, new approaches and new results of complex examinations in the field of archaeometallurgy.

The fifth conference will be held in Miskolc, in Hungary, from the 19th to the 21st of June 2019. It is organized by the Institute of Metallurgy, the Institute of Physical Metallurgy, Metalforming and Nanotechnology and Department of Prehistory and Archaeology of the University of Miskolc (ME), represented by the Archaeometallurgical Research Group of the University of Miskolc (ARGUM), in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology of the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of the Sciences (MTA BTK RI), the Special Committee of Materials Sciences and Technology of the Regional Committee of Miskolc of the Hungarian Academy of the Sciences (MTA MAB ATSZB), the Special Committee of Industrial Archaeology and Archaeometry of the Regional Committee of Veszprém of the Hungarian Academy of the Sciences (MTA VEAB IAMB) and the Archaeometry Research Group of the Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research of the Hungarian Academy of the Sciences (MTA GGI AKCS).

For more information visit their website

HMS Offers Prize

The Historical Metallurgy Society ( is pleased to offer a HMS Prize for the Best Student Oral Presentation, and a HMS Prize for the Best Student Poster at the 2019 Archaeometallurgy in Europe Conference. The prizes will consist of a diploma, a free one-year subscription to HMS and a financial reward. 

All posters and oral presentations with a student as lead author/presenter will be considered for these awards, those interested in being considered must email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. please include your name and the title of your presentation.

The judging panel, made up of members of the HMS Council and the Archaeometallurgy in Europe International Scientific Committee, will base their decision on the combined merits of the originality, rigour and significance of the research presented, as well as the design and delivery of the poster or presentation.


Power and Control over Metallurgy Production 


Summer Meeting

Saturday 8th June 2019
Reading Town Hall

Eleanor Blakelock


This meeting will explore how metal production was controlled in different societies, in the UK and further afield. The plan is to explore control in a range of periods, including how the Roman military controlled lead and iron production and the Anglo-Saxon elites use of precious metals in Anglo-Saxon palace workshops and beyond.

The venue for the meeting is Reading, which had one of the richest monasteries with a royal connection and the museum has a display of finds from nearby Silchester. The meeting will be held in the Victorian Town Hall.

Call for papers for oral presentations. We would be interested in papers on all aspects of metallurgy, ferrous and non-ferrous, from sites or collections associated with military, religious or elite settings where control may have been a factor. Or papers discussing the control of metallurgical production in past societies.

Link to the call for papers is available here.

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twice a year the Archives and Collections Committee (ACC) run a study/work day at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. 

The study/work day is based on two topics: care of the archive collection, particularly the Ronnie Tylecote photographic archive and care of the slag collection. After brief introductions the day will mainly consist of workshops with ‘hands on’ work. In the archive with sorting photographs and assisting with storage for the safe care of the images, and in the warehouse sorting, identifying, re-boxing and cataloguing the Tylecote Slag Collection.

The date for the next event is the ...

To be confirmed! But will be held at The Long Warehouse, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Telford, Shropshire TF8 7DQ.

For further details of future events please contact Eddie Birch (Tel 01226 370331) or Louise Bacon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo gallery  


3 2
5 4



Having enlisted as a volunteer with the Ironbridge Gorge Museum to be involved with industrial archeology projects in the Gorge, I was forwarded the notice for the Historical Metallurgy Society Archives and Slag Collections open day. As a conservator specialising in metals, I have known about HMS for many years, but the open day, held almost on my doorstep, sounded intriguing, too good to miss, and provided the spur to join at last.

The day started with a welcome and brief introduction to the archives from Louise Bacon to the small group of us attending the open day, some like myself, new to the Society's activities and others who were established HMS activists. Louise gave us a description of the archive and its care.

David Dungworth followed with a description of the slag collections and for those of us new to the HMS, it was fascinating to learn from the two speakers, how much has been achieved in such a relatively short time, and it was pleasing to learn that there is such a close collaboration between the Society and the Ironbridge Institute.

Despite the two introductions, I still did not quite know what to expect when we were about to start the hands on workshop sessions. It soon became apparent though! I started with the paper and photographs group and a daunting quantity of partially archived material, mostly photographs, with some notes and a few reports that comprise the Tylecote archive. The earlier archiving had assembled the material into logical associations, but it needed our second sweep to refine it into directly related material, and for me at least, there was lots of 'ah, yes, this photo of a hole in the ground with a bit of a lintel is the same as one I saw earlier but from a different position - now where did I put that?' Very quickly we started working as a team, cross checking with each other, and the personal recollections of the 'old hands' were invaluable, often making sense of indecipherable images. Gradually things started to fall into place, and even link up with objects the slag collection group were finding.

After a break for lunch, a visit to the Museum of Iron and a walk around the old foundry site with Shane Kelleher of the Institute, who gave us an insight into the objects on display, the history and archeology of the site, most of us swapped activities and I went into the chilly stores to pick though boxes of slags, ores and a few bits of actual metal.

The materials are all part of the Tylecote Slag Collection, which is a distinct historical collection housed at the Institute, but owned by HMS, as opposed to the National Slag Collection, which is owned by the Institute, although both the Institute and HMS have a say in what is added to the National Slag Collection.

The Tylecote Collection was kept in an ad hoc selection of boxes in the Institute's stores. In the boxes were plastic bags of samples, labelled in various ways and our task was to catalogue them. The samples were re-bagged in numbered bags which corresponded with new archival boxes and the information was entered up by David Dungworth on a database as we progressed. Deciphering some of the labels in, shall we say 'distinctive' handwriting on damaged labels was a challenge, but again, the 'old hands' were often able to come to the rescue, recognising a vital clue and recalling a past expedition.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, it was informative, fascinating, friendly, there is much more to do, but there was a sense of making a useful contribution and a job well done. I was a bit worried about how I'd tell my friends at 'The Golden Ball Debating and Philosophical Society' how I had spent my Saturday. Given the potential for puns on the main object of our attention, there aren't many ways that don't leave you open to ribaldry, but, to their credit, they didn't sink to the occasion and were genuinely interested - a bit mystified, maybe, but interested.

Review written by Andrew Naylor for The Crucible 83




More Articles...

  1. Past HMS events
  2. Meetings

Page 1 of 2