Historical knowledge

How was The Sun Chariot cast?

The Sun Chariot was cast in bronze using a technique called the cire perdue or ‘lost wax’ method. With this method a wax model of the parts of the chariot is made over a clay core. The patterns with which the finished bronze chariot is to be decorated are incised in the wax. The wax model is encased in clay. The whole work is fired, melting the wax and leaving a cavity – or mould – which can then be filled with molten bronze. On the back of the horse there is damage that permits us to look inside the figure and see the inner clay core around which the bronze was cast.

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