Non-Ferrous Metals and Glass Working in Roman Britain

28 Feb 2018
Newcastle upon Tyne



North of England Institute of Mining & Mechanical Engineers morning meeting

Dr Justine Bayley FSA

The Roman conquest of Britain in the first century AD greatly increased the volume of metal in use to make decorative and utilitarian objects. While some of these objects were made in other parts of the Roman Empire, there is a growing body of evidence for production in Britain.

This talk will outline how both newly smelted and recycled metals were turned into objects, and will describe the archaeological finds, including crucibles, moulds and tools, that provide evidence for these processes.

Another material which became far more common in the first century AD was glass. Its use became widespread, and there are now archaeological finds from Britain that show that glass vessels, window panes and other objects were all made here.

Both metal- and glass-working were high-temperature technologies that required careful control of the conditions under which they were carried out. Comparing the two industries provides insights into the nature of the debris they left behind for archaeologists to find today. Many of the examples used as illustrations will come from sites across northern England.

Free event - All welcome


10.30am - tea & coffee

11.00pm - lecture

About the Speaker

Justine Bayley worked for English Heritage for many years as an archaeological scientist and has edited the journal Historical Metallurgy since 1990. Her professional interests are mainly in non-ferrous metal- and glass-working of the Roman and medieval periods. Current and recent projects include Roman enamelling, Viking metalworking in the British Isles, and the Tudor Mint at the Tower of London.


Venue and booking

Event Location: 
The Mining Institute
Neville Hall
Westgate Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom
Contact details: 

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