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Was Copper Smelted in Ancient Temples ? - more about crucible smelting

[article]

Pallas. Revue d'études antiques Année 1999 50 pp. 161-172
Fait partie d'un numéro thématique : Mélanges C. Domergue 2
  • Rothenberg Beno. Was Copper Smelted in Ancient Temples ? - more about crucible smelting. In: Pallas, 50/1999. Mélanges C. Domergue 2. pp. 161-172.

    DOI : https://doi.org/10.3406/palla.1999.1546

    www.persee.fr/doc/palla_0031-0387_1999_num_50_1_1546

    Mil. C. Domergue, PALLAS, 50, 1999, pp. 161-172.

    Was Copper Smelted in Ancient Temples ? - more about crucible smelting -

    BENO ROTHENBERG

    (Institute for Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies, IAMS) Institute of Archaeology, University College London)

    Introduction

    1 . Crucible smelting of copper in temples and urban workshops has been repeatedly reported in archaeological and archaeo-metallurgical publications. Tylecote (1974:54; see also 1987:107) investigated the problem of 'crucible smelting' of copper with the following results:

    Crucible Smelting : Experimental Results (Tylecote 1974)

    Smelt 1.

    Charge:

    Product:

    Smelt 2.

    Charge:

    The prod

    CuO

    C

    Cu

    CuO

    slag

    C

    luct was a

    30g(=24gCu)

    10g

    (1st separation)

    (2nd separation)

    10g

    20g

    10g

    mixture of viscous

    17.2g

    18.6g (not complete)

    % recovery > 80%

    slag and a fine network of metal. Unde

    microscope it was clear that the metal phase consisted of about 30-40% iron-rich dendrites in molten copper. The Cu-Fe phase diagram shows that at this composition the iron-rich solid solution would not have been molten at the temperature of the experiment, ie 1 1 50°C. It is clear that metallic iron was reduced out of the slag and