Under the direction of Dr. Ruth Tringham, Mr. Christopher Hoffman will collect data for his doctoral thesis. He will study copper artifacts from a series of archaeological sites which are located on the Spanish island of Mallorca and which date to the Copper Age (from approximately 2500 to 1800 BC). Through a series of analyses he will attempt to determine where the metal producing ore was mined, whether it was smelted locally, how the wide range of objects were fabricated, how they were used, and how and why they were disposed of. To accomplish this he will conduct chemical and lead isotope analyses of copper bearing ores from local deposits, attempt to define chemical signatures and then match these signatures to those of the artifacts themselves. Metallurgical analysis will shed light on manufacturing techniques and microscopic examination for traces of wear will provide insight into how the objects were used. Mr. Hoffman wishes to understand the relationship between technological and social change. Metallurgy did not originate on Mallorca but diffused to the region from the Eastern Mediterranean. While it is known approximately when copper tools first appeared on the island much less is understood about the effects which this very basic technological change had on social organization. This particular situation is interesting because archaeologists have argued that Mallorcan and much of Spanish society was basically unaffected. Because however of the wide variety of artifact types found on the island and because of the varied archaeological contexts in which they were recovered, Mr. Hoffman believes otherwise and he wishes to reconstruct how these objects were manufactured and used. This research is important for several reasons. It will provide data of interest to many archaeologists and increase our understanding of Mallorcan prehistory. It will also shed light on the complex relationships between societal and technological change and will assist in the training of a promising young scientist.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
Program Officer
John E. Yellen
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Berkeley
United States
Zip Code