Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

Direzione e Uffici
Via de' Musei 8 – 40124 Bologna
Tel. - Fax


  • banner sezioni

Collections / Sections / Bologna in prehistory

Casting mould

During the Bronze Age, metallurgy plays an increasingly important role in the life of human communities. In particular, during the Late Bronze Age (1330-1170 BC) metallurgy knows a great flowering phase, as evidenced by the increasing production and by the wide variety of tools and ornaments, probably also due to the full integration of activities of skilled craftsmen within the settlements.

More info

At the turn of the 20th century, in the centre of the town of San Giuliano di Toscanella Giuseppe Scarabelli found layers of fire-hardened clay with abundant metal slag, which he defined as “forge-hearths”. This part of the village has yielded most of the bronze objects, the terracotta bellow orifice and several stone moulds for casting metal, including the univalve one shown here, used to make billhooks, arrowheads and awls. This is the oldest type of die and the metal – heated to a liquid state in a crucible – was poured into it and then covered with a flat stone. When they had cooled, the objects were removed from the die and then underwent further workmanship to eliminate casting burrs, polish the surface and sharpen them.

Provenance: Imola, San Giuliano di Toscanella (Bologna)
Datation: Late Bronze Age (1330–1170 BC)
Material: Sandstone
Inventory #: 32663

Go back to introduction


Exhibition rooms | Room I - Prehistoric section