Non-Ferrous Metals Committee

Within Jernkontoret’s Historical Metallurgy group there is a specialist "Non-Ferrous Metals, Mining and Metallurgy" committee. This committee works to increase knowledge, education and documentation concerning the non-ferrous metals within the archaeology/history and metallurgy/metalworking fields. One important task is also to initiate research into non-ferrous metals.

The open pit at Falun copper ore mine. Photo: Kenneth Sund.

In 1980, the first research committee in the area of non-ferrous metals was formed within the Historical Metallurgy group. The present committee, Non Ferrous Metals, Mining and Metallurgy (9048/95) has been operating since 1995. The non ferrous metal committee’s research extends across a long time period, from prehistory right up to our time. What is covered is not only any possible metal production but also the subsequent working of the metals as well as the societal and economic consequences that this implies.

Within the committee there are several subprojects that relate to copper, silver, cobalt and bronze.

Chairperson: Dag Noréus, Stockholm University, Inorganic Chemistry.

Futrther information: The Committee's research projects (pdf)

Activities and seminars

Educational material

The non-ferrous metals committee prepared course materials and a syllabus for a university course at undergraduate level of 15 credits. The course was arranged at Stockholm University 2014–2017: Människor och metaller. Utvinning, användning och betydelse under förhistorisk tid till och med medeltid (information in Swedish). (Humankind and Metals. Extraction, use and significance during prehistory and up until the Middle Ages)

The compendium I gruva och grav: Metallhantering från bronsålder till nyare tid (2003 in Swedish) (In the mine and the gravefield: Metalworking from the Bronze Age until more recent times) is intended as an inspiration for students of archaelogy and history at C-level or D-level. The compendium illustrates certain of the aspects that are encompassed within the subject of "metallurgy and metalworking", it can be seen as a glimpse into different time periods. What the articles in the compendium have in common is that they offer an introduction to different subjects within metallurgy and metalworking and highlight certain questions and research subjects that could be of interest for further studies.


During the period of activity of the different committees, relating to this field, four major symposiums have been held, namely in 1988, 1995, 2003 and 2011.


The committee’s publications in Jernkontoret’s historical metallurgy publication series H:

Two projects have resulted in doctoral theses at Stockholm University:


Casting of brass. Photo: Kenneth Sund.