Archaeometallurgy, Guidelines for Best Practice, published by Historic England in 2015, states: ‘…most metals can be shaped while solid by hammering (smithing). In some cases (eg iron) the metal needs to be heated in a hearth to make it sufficiently soft to allow easy smithing. In some cases (eg copper alloys) a metal is made much harder by smithing. This work-hardening can be removed by heating (annealing) the metal.’
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