Bellows and furnace covers in the unalloyed copper metallurgy of the Chalcolithic Southern Levant: reassessing the evidence from Abu Matar

Thomas Rose, Stefano Natali, Andrea Brotzu, Peter Fabian, Yuval Goren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Unalloyed copper objects were produced in the Chalcolithic Southern Levant in a two-step process. Copper ore was smelted in pit furnaces, and the mechanically extracted copper prills melt in crucibles and cast into objects. However, the air supply remained unknown, and practical considerations shed doubt on the validity of some of the reconstructed practices. To refine the reconstruction, the metallurgical material from Abu Matar was reassessed. Most importantly, several previously unreported fragments suggest the use of bellows and covering the furnace with large pottery fragments. Our results provide probably the earliest evidence for the use of bellows.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchaeometry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Abu Matar
  • Chalcolithic
  • Ghassulian
  • Southern Levant
  • bellows
  • copper
  • furnace
  • metallurgy
  • slag
  • tuyère

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology

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