Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Unique collections in demand

Some important Roman Castleford objects from the museum collections were loaned to Malton Museum for a dayschool on 17th October. The loans are parts of clay moulds and glass waste. At first glance, not the most exciting of finds.  
Part of a clay mould 
These strange lumps of clay were once moulds used to make highly-decorated bronze vessels with bands of colourful enamel on the outside. 
The type of beautiful enameled bronze flask that was made from Castleford moulds
None of the actual bronze vessels have been found (so far!), and so the evidence for them comes from the clay moulds which were broken open to retrieve the vessels after they had been cast.  The coloured glass was used to create the enamel coloured patterns. 

So far Castleford is the only place in Roman Britain where this specialist manufacture has been found.  

As they are manufacturing waste, they are not impressive to look at, and in the past archaeologists may have overlooked this type of evidence. The workshop was aimed at archaeologists, finds specialists and museum curators so in the future they are more likely to recognise this kind of material when it turns up in excavations.

Professional training workshop at Malton Museum last week
A sample of these very special clay moulds will be on display in the new Castleford Forum Museum.

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