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Title: A copper alloy light cannon from Grodno: an example of early firearms from Eastern Europe
Authors: Żabiński, Grzegorz
Strzyż, Piotr
Goryczka, Tomasz
Aniołek, Krzysztof
Miśta-Jakubowska, Ewelina
Keywords: Archaeometallurgy; Copper alloys; Middle Ages; Firearms; Grodno; Eastern Europe
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: "Heritage Science" Vol. 9 (2021), art. no. 67
Abstract: The paper discusses a recent find of a copper alloy light cannon discovered at the Old Castle in Grodno, Belarus. The research aim was to analyse the artefact in all its possible aspects, including archaeological and historical contexts, possible analogies, and the gun’s technology of manufacture. This latter was done against a broad comparative background of what is known on manufacturing technologies of late medieval and modern period copper alloy firearms. First, the archaeological and historical contexts of the discovery are dealt with. Then, the morphology and typochronology of the cannon are discussed and relevant analogies are proposed. Next, the technology of manufacture of the cannon is studied on the basis of metallographic examinations and EDS analyses of the metal’s elemental composition. It was found out that the artefact had been made of leaded copper. The cannon can be dated with reasonable certainty to the late 14th c., as implied both by the find context, the morphology and the chemical composition of the artefact. Its deposition can be related to fights over the Old Castle in Grodno in this period, waged by Teutonic, Polish and Lithuanian forces. It can tentatively be proposed that the cannon was manufactured in a Teutonic Order’s workshop, but further research is necessary to verify this supposition.
DOI: 10.1186/s40494-021-00534-z
ISSN: 2050-7445
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNŚiT)

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