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Replica artefacts not only provide the best way of appreciating the original form of an object but the process of making the replica provides invaluable insights into ancient technology.
The dagger blade was fashioned by Neil Burridge who specialises in ancient casting techniques. He starts with a clay mould around a wax core in the shape of the blade. The clay mould is then heated to avoid cracking from the molten metal and also to melt the wax. When the furnace has heated the mixture of copper and tin to over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, the white hot metal is slowly poured into the mould. The mould is then allowed to cool before the clay is tapped off and the dagger emerges. Once the blade has been polished, the elements of the handle are attached. Ancient materials and techniques were used by Mark Vyvyan-Penney to reproduce the wooden bowls from alder wood, which were finished using socketed bronze axes and chisels. Similarly the deer-skin leather pouch for the fire-lighting kit was cured in wood-ash and animal fat following ancient methods.
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