The Archaeometallurgy of Copper: Evidence from Faynan, by Andreas Hauptmann

By Andreas Hauptmann

The e-book offers with the traditional exploitation and creation of copper, exemplified by way of the mining district of Faynan, Jordan. it truly is an interdisciplinary research that contains (mining-) archaeological and clinical features. the advance of organizational styles and technological advancements of mining and smelting throughout the a long time (5th millennium BC to Roman Byzantine period), in a selected mining area, is discussed.

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Extra resources for The Archaeometallurgy of Copper: Evidence from Faynan, Jordan (Natural Science in Archaeology)

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This is generally correct where differences between slag from a smelting process and that from further metal processing is concerned. Otherwise, it has to be considered with care. In the Alps with their Bronze Age smelting processes of Cu-Fe sulphides, a reconstruction of those different steps cannot be securely established, neither on the basis of differing types of slag nor with ensuing chemical and mineralogical analyses. Piel et al. (1992) and Metten (2003) argue that ‘plate slag’ and ‘tap slag’ (“Plattenschlacke” and “Laufschlacke”) occurring there could also be the results of one single smelting process.

2 · Analytical Methods The suggestion that arsenical copper had to be intentionally produced survived for a surprisingly long time. This was the case even in regions such as the Caucasus (Selimkhanov 1972), where numerous fahlore deposits with signs of prehistoric mining are suggested (see Chernykh 1992) – but have never been investigated for a detailed mineralogical composition of ores. Such ore deposits could have easily been the place of origin of the raw material for the production of those artifacts with a high As-component.

One should bear in mind two factors, which complicate a direct comparison between ore and artifact and have repeatedly led to critical assessments concerning the value of chemical analyses in provenance studies (Merkel 1990; Chernyk 1992; Budd et al. 1995). These are, firstly, mineralogical and chemical variations of ore deposits, mainly in near-surface parts, and secondly, a fractioning of the trace element pattern due to metallurgical processes. Although it was already in the 1950s that the two teams around Otto and Witter (1952) in Halle and around Pittioni (1957) in Vienna had realized that an assignment of a metal object to a specific ore deposit is not achievable “without the cooperation of ore geology and mineralogy and metallurgy,” today there are still considerable gaps in geochemical characterizations of ancient ore deposits.

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