PRELIMINARY INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOUNDRY OF THE RESIDENTS OF SHYRIAEVE HILLFORT
The Shyriaeve hillfort has been permanently explored for 5 years. Сonsidering the excavations of the late 1940s and 1950s, the total excavation area reaches 556 m2. The period of existence of the fortified settlement covers the late 6th—4th centuries BC. As a result of recent work, three chronological horizons have been distinguished. The spectacular material is obtained which allows us to get closer to the characteristics of different aspects of life of ancient inhabitants.
One of the least studied cases is the degree of development of the bronze foundry. The information available today allows us to describe this craft in general terms and draw preliminary conclusions.
Copper and (or) bronze were imported goods. Finds of the fragments of amphorae, glass beads and cowrie shells should be included in the category of other imported items. Exchange links with the neighbors have been established but the extent of their intensity remains unclear.
The consequence of activities of local craftsmen are the findings of clay tapholes and crucibles. Other tools, including chisels, are made of iron. There is no complete certainty about its use by artisans — foundries, because such things were multifunctional.
Other finds include the bronze or copper bars which were commodity ingots, in the primary raw material for smelting various products. Craftsmen also used colored scrap metal in the form of various plates and fragments of objects.
Indisputable evidence of local production is its remnants in the form of splashes. The conducted analyzes with care allow to assume smelting of copper from ore directly within the settlement.
The ways of getting copper ore (bronze) and a number of other things to the Shyriaeve hillfort have not been clarified yet. It is possible to assume that the main importer was the hillfort of Basivka — the central point of the Sula river basin. To date there is little material for a full analysis of the foundry of the residents of the Shyriaeve hillfort. Its study has just begun.
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