The Social Implications of Technological Variability as Observed in High Tin Bronze Objects of the Unified Silla

2017 Korean Journal of Metals and Materials  
Korea is famous for more than a millennium of continuous fabrication of Cu-Sn objects with near peritectic composition through a process of forging and rapid cooling at approximately 700 °C. We examined four high tin bronze hairpins excavated from two Unified Silla sites in Gyongju and found substantial variability reflecting the development process of high tin technology as it evolved toward a fully established and standardized state. This observation suggests two facts of significance; 1) the
more » ... ignificance; 1) the interest in high tin bronze technology was renewed or initiated with the coming of the Unified Silla and 2) the specific processing conditions gradually emerged from a long period of experimentation with various high tin alloys using a wide range of thermo-mechanical treatments. We discuss these two facts in terms of the plausible social transformations brought to Gyongju by Silla's unification. The outcome will then be used to propose that the highly optimized and standardized high tin bronze tradition represents a technological innovation unique to Korea made possible by changing sociopolitical environments. † (
doi:10.3365/kjmm.2017.55.10.745 fatcat:3lnbwmig4nctxhqybrepirnks4