PGR Virtual Poster Exhibition | Hayden Scott-Pratt and Sigrid Osborne

The 13th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference, hosted by the Doctoral College.

Hayden Scott-Pratt (PhD, FST) and Sigrid Osborne (MRes, FST) with this poster entitled: Unlikely allies: Combining archaeobotanical and metallurgical material in archaeological research. An example from the Iron Age settlement at Hengistbury Head.

Click the poster below to enlarge.

How can an investigation of plant material inclusions in metallurgical waste inform on the use of furnaces in the Iron Age at Hengistbury Head? This poster presents a novel approach to studying ancient metal production practices.  It focuses on a case study of material excavated from the Iron Age settlement at Hengistbury Head, Dorset. It shows how using the field of botany can support interpretations on a prehistoric metal production process. On investigating the metallurgical slag recovered at Hengistbury Head an unusual macroscopic inclusion deemed to be plant material was discovered. A sample of the slag with the plant inclusion was investigated looking for phytoliths, microscopic plant remains. Investigating smelting parameters and furnace construction in antiquity is fraught with difficulty. Previously the packing of a furnace with organic matter has been inferred from occasional plant imprints. The phytolith analysis proved that the slag contained microscopic and macroscopic plant remains. This is new evidence and alters the interpretation of how Iron Age furnaces on Hengistbury Head may have been constructed.

You can view the full poster exhibition and pre-recorded presentations on the conference webpage.

If this research has inspired you and you’d like to explore applying for a research degree please visit the postgraduate research web pages or contact the Doctoral College dedicated admissions team.