The excavation of the central building that crowns Tira del Lienzo provided the most extensive collection of anvils, hammers and polishers/sharpeners known to date in the Argaric culture. Their analysis has revealed that they were manufactured in igneous rocks and that they were used for the forging, rolling and finishing of native silver artefacts.

The Argaric ruling class wore silver ornaments, such as headbands, earplugs, and bracelets to express their privileges. Hence, the Tira del Lienzo workshop indicates the importance of the town in the Argaric social organization.

The devastating fire that ravaged the town shattered the stone instruments of the goldsmith’s workshop. However, this catastrophe also favoured that the pieces were preserved right where they were used.

Artefacts related to the forging, rolling and polishing of metallic objects found in the central building of Tira del Lienzo (photograph J. A. Soldevilla, ASOME-UAB)

Artefacts related to the forging, rolling and polishing of metallic objects found in the central building of Tira del Lienzo (photograph J. A. Soldevilla, ASOME-UAB)

Production traces identified on various active surfaces of the forging instruments found in the central building of Tira del Lienzo.

Production traces identified on various active surfaces of the forging instruments found in the central building of Tira del Lienzo.

Effects of fire on the forging instruments found in the central area of ​​Tira del Lienzo; a: fragmented anvil, after restoration; b: star-shaped cracking on the surface of one of the forging hammers.

Effects of fire on the forging instruments found in the central area of ​​Tira del Lienzo; a: fragmented anvil, after restoration; b: star-shaped cracking on the surface of one of the forging hammers.

This diagram of the scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDX) shows the composition of the material adhered to the active front of one of the anvils/hammers. Again, the high presence of silver (Ag) stands out, indicating that, among other materials, this object was used to work silver (Ag).

This diagram of the scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDX) shows the composition of the material adhered to the active front of one of the anvils/hammers. Again, the high presence of silver (Ag) stands out, indicating that, among other materials, this object was used to work silver (Ag).