You are here

De Caerimoniae. Technological choices in copper-smelting furnace design at Early Bronze Age Chrysokamino, Crete

TitleDe Caerimoniae. Technological choices in copper-smelting furnace design at Early Bronze Age Chrysokamino, Crete
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPRYCE, O. T., Y. BASSIAKOS, M. CATAPOTIS, and R. C. P. DOONAN
JournalArchaeometry
Volume49
Issue3
Pages543-557
PublisherUniversity of Oxford
Place PublishedOxford
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number0003-813X
Abstract

The excavation of a number of Early Bronze Age sites in the Aegean has recovered perforated ceramic fragments. Archaeometallurgical analysis of slag adhering to these fragments indicates that they are the remains of copper-smelting furnaces. Despite compelling analytical data supporting this identification, no attempt has been made, thus far, to establish how these unusual furnaces may have operated. The use of perforations is poorly understood and can be considered a counter-intuitive solution for the reduction of oxidic copper ores. The experiments reported here explore the possible technological choices made by the ancient metalworkers of Chrysokamino to ensure the effective reduction of copper minerals. Temperature data and slag samples were obtained to ascertain the technical performance of the furnace structure with, and without, perforations. Possible reasons are given for the use of a perforated design, and the implications of such technological choices are considered.

URLhttp://www.blackwellpublishing.com/editors.asp?ref=0003-813X&site=1
Country: 
Era(s):