A Non-Destructive Investigation of two Cypriot Bronze Age Knife Blades using Neutron Diffraction Residual Stress Analysis

A Non-Destructive Investigation of two Cypriot Bronze Age Knife Blades using Neutron Diffraction Residual Stress Analysis

C. Davey, D Saunders, V. Luzin, J. Bevitt, J. Webb, J. Donlon, M. Ionescu

download PDF

Abstract. This paper presents the results of a residual stress analysis that is part of a wider study of Cypriot Bronze Age knife and other weapon blades from a corpus of artefacts held by a number of institutions in Australia. The current focus is on knives from Early/Middle Bronze Age burial sites at Bellapais Vounous, Cyprus; a significant number of the blades were found on excavation to be bent. The aim of the study was to provide, by means of non-destructive neutron residual stress analysis, likely insights into fabrication methodologies of the knives and determine the stage in the life of each knife blade at which bending occurred. Two Vounous knives from the Australian Institute of Archaeology collection, one measurably bent and the other severely bent and broken, were studied using neutron diffractometer KOWARI to establish the residual stress profiles through the thickness of the knives at several locations. Since the knives were 1 – 2 mm thick at their thinnest sections, a very high through-thickness spatial resolution of 0.1 mm was used to resolve the residual stress profiles. The experimental data from the knives suggested forging/hammering as a possible method of fabrication of functional (hard edge) knife blade. Most significantly, however, the post fabrication bending of both knives at ambient temperature was established. The residual stress data for the two knives were considered in the context of reported metallurgical studies and the archaeological information from Cypriot Bronze Age sites.

Ancient Bronzes, Neutron Stress Measurements

Published online 12/22/2016, 6 pages
Copyright © 2016 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: C. Davey, D Saunders, V. Luzin, J. Bevitt, J. Webb, J. Donlon, M. Ionescu, ‘A Non-Destructive Investigation of two Cypriot Bronze Age Knife Blades using Neutron Diffraction Residual Stress Analysis’, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 2, pp 515-520, 2017

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21741/9781945291173-87

The article was published as article 87 of the book Residual Stresses 2016

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

[1] J.M. Webb, D. Frankel, Z.A. Stos, N. Gale, Early Bronze Age metal Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. New Compositional and Lead Isotope Evidence from Cyprus. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 25 (3) (2006), pp. 261 – 288. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0092.2006.00261.x
[2] J.M. Webb, D. Frankel, Coincident Biographies, Bent and Broken Blades in Bronze Age Cyprus. in K. Harrell, J. Driessen, (Eds.) Contextualising Intentional Destruction of Objects in the Bronze Age Aegean and Cyprus, Publ. Louvain, 2015, pp. 117 – 142.
[3] P. Dikaios, The Excavations at Vounous Bellapais in Cyprus, 1931-2, Archaeologia 88 (1940), pp. 1-174. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0261340900014557
[4] E. Stewart, J. R. Stewart, Vounous 1937 -38. Field Report on the Excavations Sponsored by the British School of Archaeology at Athens. Publ. Lund, 1950.
[5] P. Åström, Intentional destruction of grave goods, in: R. Laffineur (Ed.), Thanatos. Les coutumes funéraires en Egée à l’Age du Bronze (Aegaeum I), Liège, 1987, pp. 213–217.
[6] G. Georgiou, J.M. Webb, D. Frankel Psematismenos-Trelloukkas. An Early Bronze Age Cemetery in Cyprus, Publ. Department of Antiquities, Nicosia, 2011.
[7] P. Keswani Mortuary Ritual and Society in Bronze Age Cyprus, Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology, No. 4, Equinox Publishing, London and Oakville, 2004.
[8] P.T. Craddock, Report on the composition of metal tools and weapons from Ayia Paraskevi, Vounous and Evreti, Cyprus in: A Catalogue of Cypriot Antiquities in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 1981.
[9] J.W. Balthazar, Copper and Bronze Working in Early through Middle Bronze Age Cyprus Studies, Mediterranean Archaeology and Literature, Pocket Book 84, Paul Åström’s Förlag, Götebörg, 1990.
[10] S. Siano, L. Bartoli, J.R. Santisteban, W. Kockelmann, M.R. Daymond, M. Miccio, M., G. De Marinis, Non-Destructive Investigation Of Bronze Artefacts From The Marches National Museum Of Archaeology Using Neutron Diffraction, Archaeometry, 48 (1) (2006), pp. 77-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4754.2006.00244.x
[11] H. Lechtman H. Arsenic Copper: Dirty Copper or Chosen Alloy? A View from the Americas, Journal of Field Archaeology, 23 (4) (1996), pp 477 – 514.
[12] O. Kirstein, V. Luzin, U. Garbe, The Strain-Scanning Diffractometer Kowari, Neutron News, 20 (4) (2009), pp. 34-36.
[13] L. Cartechini, R. Arletti, R. Rinaldi, W. Kockelmann, S. Giovannini, A. Cardarelli Neutron scattering material analysis of bronze Age metal artefacts, Journal of Physics of Condensed Matter, 20 (2008), pp. 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0953-8984/20/10/104253
[14] S. Swiny, G. Rapp. E. Hersher, E. (Eds.), Sotira Kaminoudhia: An Early Bronze Age Site in Cyprus, Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute Monograph Series, Vol. 4, American Schools of Oriental Research, Boston, 2003.
[15] A.B. Knapp, Metallurgical production and Trade on bronze Age Cyprus: Views and Variations in: V. Kassianidou, G. Papasavvas (Eds.) Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy and Metalwork in the 2nd Millennium B.C., Publ. Oxbow, 2009, pp. 14 – 125.