DAS/CAS Joint Online Lecture – Project Ancient Tin: Did British tin sources and trade make Bronze Age Europe?


February 21, 2024    
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Type

Short Abstract
In c. 2200 BC, Britain and Ireland were the first regions in Europe to completely switch over from copper to bronze metal, typically with around 10% tin. This change spread across the rest of Bronze Age Europe and the Mediterranean over the following centuries. As Devon and Cornwall possessed probably the richest and most accessible tin deposits in Europe, there has long been speculation that tin from this region was traded across the continent. Project Ancient Tin has sought to ‘fingerprint’ British and other European tin ores to tin artefacts in Europe and the Mediterranean using the latest chemical and isotopic analytical techniques as part of a re-evaluation the European Bronze Age tin trade.


Alan Williams has a long-standing interest in Bronze Age tin since working at Wheal Jane tin mine as a student mining geologist many years ago. Following a career in industry as chief geologist for an international glass company sourcing glass-making raw materials around the world, he completed his PhD research on the Great Orme Bronze Age copper mine in north Wales at the University of Liverpool. More recently he jointly initiated Project Ancient Tin and is a research associate in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University.

Ben Roberts has spent over twenty years researching and publishing on Neolithic-Bronze Age archaeology, early metallurgy and metal objects across Europe. Prior to joining the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, he was the Curator for the European Bronze Age collections in the British Museum.

Please find the details for the Zoom meeting below:

Topic: Project Ancient Tin: Did British tin sources and trade make Bronze Age Europe?
Time: Feb 21, 2024 19:30 London

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88356921803?pwd=VhEYaNN1OLmjRe7orUf7sXf35gw2zX.1

Meeting ID: 883 5692 1803
Passcode: 517510