UCLA/Getty Conservation Program

A graduate conservation training program focusing on the conservation of archaeological and ethnographic materials

Hammering Away in L.A.

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On Tuesday, Professor Scott took us on a field trip to visit Dr. Arik Greenberg’s metal studio. Dr. Greenberg is a lecturer of Greco-Roman history and religion and has been involved with the Legion Six Historical Foundation, Inc. and the development of the Museum of the Ancient Roman Soldier.

Dr. Greenberg first gave us a presentation on Greco-Roman armor and weaponry.

1lesson on armor

We dressed Tom McClintock up as a soldier with replica armor, a shield, and a sword.

3tom solider

Dr. Greenberg then gave us a demonstration on the manufacturing of ancient copper helmets and iron swords, showing us different blacksmith forging techniques.

7arik remvoing metal from furnace 8arik hammering layers together

9after first hammering layers starting to combine

We then had the opportunity to work our own copper sheets into a bowls, which involved annealing and hammering. Lesley Day (left image) cools the metal she is working after annealing. Betsy Burr and Lesley (central image) hammer their copper sheets into shape. And Tom (right image) anneals his copper sheet.

5leslie cooling metal after annealing 6hammering into a shape 4annealing

The field trip was part of the course we are taking this quarter on the Technology and Deterioration of Metals (CAEM 263). Not only was our visit to Dr. Greenberg’s metal studio fun, but seeing how metals are worked, and trying our hand at making copper bowls, will help us better understand how the copper alloy objects we’re examining this quarter (and treating next quarter) were made.

I’ll end this post with the words of MC Hammer, because for us in the metal’s studio, it was definitely “Hammer Time”.

William Shelley (’16)

One thought on “Hammering Away in L.A.

  1. What an adventure! I love the look of the armor and shield. I think there’s a place for metallurgy and tempering in the world of historical education. Not to mention, it should be used for people involved in live-action role play.

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