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Spearpoint

Original
 
Found: Overloon, Limburg, Netherlands
Age: early bronze age

This spearpoint is part of a hoard, which includes a second spearpoint, two early rapiers and a clothing pin.

Model
 
To make the model I first prepared a model from birch wood, using my bronze chisel. Such wooden models of spearpoints have actually been found in Tobermore, Ierland.

Mould
 
To make the mould halves, I made two plates of clay, which I then formed around the model. After that they were left to dry for a few days to leather hard, I made the core. To keep the core located in the mould, I used bronze "chaplets" a technique known from bronze age examples. These chaplets are pressed into the mould halves. The complete mould was then wrapped in clay, sand & horsedung mix, dried and fired.

Casting result
 
From three moulds I prepared, I had three spearpoints! They all have some imperfections (small holes, and some gassing on the surface of one), but these are imperfections found on originals. One surprise was that the chaplets didn't melt together with the spearheads, but left open slots. So far archeologists have assumed that such slots were caused by organic chaplets, and that bronze chaplets would melt with the casting without a trace. Apparently the opposite happened here. The reason the chaplets didn't fuse with the spearheads is that they were heavily oxidized during the firing of the moulds.