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FLow of Ancient Metals across Eurasia (FLAME): New frameworks for interpreting human interaction in Later Prehistory

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 FLAME project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the FLAME project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "FLAME" about.

social    brings    bayesian    scientific    bce    ancient    skills    chemical    outdated    emphasis    isotopic    interpreted    eurasian    questions    temperature    shores    creation    empirical    flow    recycled    context    flame    necessarily    metal    human    1st    natural    data    re    sourcing    replaces    archaeological    form    completely    broad    interactions    iberia    mixing    sources    isolated    sense    examine    regional    prehistory    pacific    assumption    linear    too    provenance    millennia    bronze    breaking    alloy    came    alloys    rewrite    link    frameworks    typological    paradigm    look    conceptual    later    copper    small    approximately    ore    objects    assemblage    continental    gis    chemistry    consequence    composition    history    age    atlantic    changing    modelled    societies    eurasia    first    shifts    place    metaphorically    putting    time    literally    combining    3rd    chronologies    reassessment    radiocarbon    intertwined    assessments    direct    interpretative    alloyed    generally    framework    geographical    interaction    metallurgy    underpinned    scales    metals    engagement    expectation    flowed    chronological   

Project "FLAME" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: OXFORD
postcode: OX1 2JD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙447˙052 €
 EC max contribution 2˙447˙052 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

FLow of Ancient Metals across Eurasia (FLAME) is a new empirical and conceptual framework for understanding human interactions in Later Prehistory across all of Eurasia. Taking existing data on the chemical and isotopic composition of copper alloy objects and combining them with typological and chronological information within a GIS framework, FLAME aims to rewrite the history of human engagement with copper and its alloys across Eurasia, from Atlantic Iberia to the shores of the Pacific during approximately the 3rd to early 1st millennia BCE. It replaces the outdated concept of provenance with a completely new interpretative paradigm (‘form and flow’), which is built upon the expectation that copper may be recycled, re-alloyed and generally re-used, thus breaking the simple linear assumption of a direct chemical or isotopic link between the copper and the ore from which it came. In this new paradigm, small shifts in chemistry are interpreted not necessarily as changing ore sources but also as the natural consequence of high-temperature processing and mixing, thus putting the emphasis on human interaction with metal rather than on sourcing. We will address major questions at a range of scales, from assemblage to continental, to look at how metal flowed literally and metaphorically through the complex societies of Bronze Age Eurasia. Our reassessment of the metallurgy will also be underpinned by new GIS frameworks and the creation of regional Bayesian-modelled radiocarbon chronologies. Previous scientific assessments of early metal have too often isolated the chemical and isotopic evidence from both the immediate archaeological context and any sense of a real time and place. FLAME brings together a broad range of skills to examine for the first time the intertwined social, scientific, chronological and geographical aspects of Eurasian early metallurgy.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2014 A. Mark Pollard, Peter J. Bray, Chris Gosden
Is there something missing in scientific provenance studies of prehistoric artefacts?
published pages: 625-631, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.1017/s0003598x00101255
Antiquity 88/340 2019-07-04
2015 A.M. Pollard, Peter Bray, Chris Gosden, Andrew Wilson, Helena Hamerow
Characterising copper-based metals in Britain in the first millennium AD: a preliminary quantification of metal flow and recycling
published pages: 697-713, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2015.20
Antiquity 89/345 2019-07-04
2017 A.M. Pollard, P. Bray, P. Hommel, Y.-K. Hsu, R. Liu, J. Rawson
Bronze Age metal circulation in China
published pages: 674-687, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2017.45
Antiquity 91/357 2019-07-04
2017 Zhengyao Jin, Ruiliang Liu, Jessica Rawson, A. Mark Pollard
Revisiting lead isotope data in Shang and Western Zhou bronzes
published pages: 1574-1587, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2017.149
Antiquity 91/360 2019-07-04
2015 A. M. Pollard, P. J. Bray
A New Method For Combining Lead Isotope and Lead Abundance Data to Characterize Archaeological Copper Alloys*
published pages: 996-1008, ISSN: 0003-813X, DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12145
Archaeometry 57/6 2019-07-04

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The information about "FLAME" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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