Lina Campos Quintero visit in Cambridge

Lina María Campos-Quintero traveled from Bogotá to Cambridge for two months, between March and April, to carry out the analysis of gold and iron artifacts excavated at sites in the Colombian Caribbean. She used the laboratories at the University of Cambridge for sample preparation, microscopic, metallographic, and compositional analysis of these materials. This is the first time iron artifacts from Colombia have been analysed with archaeometric techniques!

Although goldsmithing was an art with a long pre-Hispanic tradition in the Americas, iron smelting was only carried out in Eurasia and Africa up until the conquest, when it was brought to the Americas. This research seeks to examine, on the one hand, how the social value of these metals was transformed in indigenous funerary contexts. On the other, it studies the possible coexistence of different goldsmithing and blacksmithing techniques, and the circulation of objects, metals, and minerals in the late occupations of the Montes de María (sites of San Felipe and La Pasión in the department of Sucre).

Lina worked long hours in the labs with colleagues from the Reverseaction team and other members of the archaeology department. She also presented her research as an invited speaker at a seminar coordinated by the Americas Archeology Group and at the Pitt-Rivers laboratory meetings. Lina not only collected data and engaged in valuable discussions that enriched the research, but she also enjoyed the academic and cultural environment of Cambridge. This is yet another research front that arises from the collaboration between the Gold Museum and the Reverseaction project. In her words: “I will miss my friends, making polish blocks, the Keyence, the laboratories, the green fields of Cambridge, and the ducks on the rivers”.