Breaking the Mould: Exploring Bronze Age Smithing Traditions

Lead by Dr. Barry Molloy at UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology, The Breaking the Mould project, explores traditions of bronze smithing in later Bronze Age Europe (ca.1500-800 BC).

By employing a range of methodologies including;

  • Developing and analysing a database of metallographic research results using case studies from across Europe
  • Primary artefact studies
  • Micro-topographical analyses of artefact surfaces using laser-scanning and Structure from Motion
  • Reproduction and analyses of a variety of 3D object forms (mostly bladed tools and weapons)

This project will bring together new and existing research into the craft traditions of bronze smiths using scientific, contextual, experimental and artefact biographical approaches.

Since September 2015 I have been Assisting Dr. Barry Molloy with;

  • Artefact analyse in the National Museum of Ireland
  • Designing 3D objects using photogrammetry at the Material Culture lab in UCD School of Archaeology
  • Professional photography, video production and outreach through social media.
  • Co-ordinating the ‘Breaking the Mould’ Seminar Series.


One of our 3D Objects

See the rest HERE

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The Team

member-1Barry is the lead researcher on the project. He has worked widely in archaeology throughout Europe and has held fellowships and visiting lectureships at the University of Cambridge, University College Dublin, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the University of Sheffield, and Masaryk University at Brno. His interests include experimental archaeology, metallurgy, and ancient combat and he directs excavations in Greece and Serbia.


member-2Aidan is the project Principal Investigator. He is an Associate Professor in UCD School of Archaeology, where he was appointed as a College Lecturer in September 2000 and was promoted to his current position in 2014. Aidan has previously been Head of UCD School of Archaeology (2012/2013) and was an IRCHSS Senior Research Scholar in 2002-2003 and a UCD President’s Research Fellow in 2004-2005. He is a Member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (MIAI) and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), London.


Project Advisory Panel includes Roger Doonan, Marianne Moedlinger, Mariusz Wisniewski, Sue Bridgford, Frank Lynam, Robert Sands and Brendan O’Neill

This project is funded under a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship held at the UCD School of Archaeology and the Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture at University College Dublin.
This project is hosted at the UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture. We are located at University College Dublin, Ireland and form UCD School of Archaeology’s experimental and material culture research and teaching facility.


For more information see the Home Page; Breaking the Mould: Exploring Bronze Age Smithing Traditions

For information on UCD School of Archaeology visit HERE

And follow current activity at UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Technologies HERE

To View and play with our 3D Models visit our Sketchfab page  HERE

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