About

Dr Christina Clarke is an art historian specialising in the history and prehistory of metal objects and metallurgical technology.  She is interested in metallurgical technologies, especially those pertaining to vessel production, throughout various phases of prehistory and pre-industrial history in Europe, the Near East, Middle East, Africa, India, the Far East and the Americas.  She has published and lectured and consulted on a number of topics relating to the history of metallurgy and metal objects.  Her research projects and interests include:

  • Minoan metal vessel manufacture
  • Ancient Greek and Roman casting technology and jewellery production
  • Roman 'saucepan' production
  • Ancient Chinese bronze vessel casting technology
  • Pre-Hispanic metalsmithing technologies in Peru
  • Prehistoric metal vessel technologies spanning the eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia
  • Australian colonial silversmithing
  • Gold and silver plate in early modern Europe.

Dr Clarke graduated from the Australian National University in 2012 with a PhD for her thesis entitled "The manufacture of Minoan metal vessels: Theory and practice", published in 2013 by Åströms förlag as a monograph in the series Studies in Mediterraean Archaeology - Pocket Books.  Read more about this project here.   A vital aspect of the methodology of this project was the replication of prehistoric tools and metalsmithing equipment and the practical application of these to create metal objects.  Such research techniques can reveal not only how ancient technologies were used but also how the use of these technologies affected the practitioner, with implications for how we interpret the role of the craft practitioner in prehistoric societies.

Since January 2015, Dr Clarke has worked on the cataloguing, conservation and analysis of the John Houstone Collection of Early Australian Silver at the National Gallery of Australia.  She is particularly interested in the technical aspects of early Australian silver: how silversmiths in colonial Australia produced their wares under the strain of geograpical, cultural and technological isolation.  An interview with Dr Clarke about this project can be found at the blog of the Canberra Library Tribe.

Dr Clarke is currently researching the manufacture of gold and silver plate in early modern France.

See Dr Clarke's academia.edu profile at http://anu-au.academia.edu/ChristinaClarke


© Dina Clarke 2017