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A Brief History of Copper
(Released October 2005)

  by Marianne Stanczak  


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  1. Univ. of California-San Diego team unearths 5000-year-old copper foundry


    Engineered Casting Solutions (USA), Vol. 4, No. 4, Fall 2002, pp. 12.

    An archeological team from the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) in the US has discovered an Early Bronze Era foundry in the Middle East that dates back to about 2700 BC. It is the largest foundry ever discovered from this era. Called Khirbat Hamra Ifdan, the 70-room complex is located on a well-defended mesa in Southern Jordan, approx30 miles south of the Dead Sea. The foundry used ceramic molds to produce Cu-base ingot, axes, hammers and other artifacts that are believed to have spread throughout the Middle and Near East. UCSD anthropologist Thomas Levy led the expedition with archeologist Russell Adams.

  2. On the estimation of early bronze lead origin in Japan by lead isotope approach

    H. Arai and B. -Y Hur.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea, 21-24 Apr. 2002, pp. 275-282.

    The bronze production in Japan dates back from the early Yayoi period (BC. 2nd C). However it has not been clear yet where the raw materials came from in those days. In order to discuss these situations a lead isotope analysis provides us with some pieces of useful information. But the lead-isotope analysis used in Japanese archaeology is still based on the framework 'original theory'. Since the idea was presented long ago, analyzed examples have largely increased and the Chinese study in this area has made remarkable progress. So, it seems very important to re-evaluate all the results done up to now. The results in this paper are as follows. (1) In ancient China, both South China and North China lead had been co-used. (2) It has been said in 'original theory' that lead contained in the early Yayoi period originated in Korea but its relative isotopic abundance corresponds to that of the ancient Chinese lead. (3) The lead in the late Yayoi is more likely to be from Northeast China (Shandong, Liaoning) than South China. (4) The lead in the Kofun period seems to be not only from South China, but also from Northeast China (Shandong, Liaoning). (5) We should pay attention to the similarity of the lead isotope ratios between the horse shaped bronze buckles in Korea and the triangular-rimmed bronze mirrors in the Kofun period.

  3. The history of daguerreotypes

    John Barnier.

    View Camera (U.S.A.) July-Aug. 1994, pp. 42-4.

    A brief history of the daguerreotype, the camera-produced image on silver-plated copper which was the forerunner of the photograph. The author describes the scientific basis of the daguerreotype, explaining the theory behind the process patented by the Frenchman Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre in 1839, and citing the length of time required to produce an image and the fragility of that image as flaws in Daguerre's initial process. He notes the improvements that were subsequently made to the process, describes the small size and expensive presentation of the prints, comments on the extent of the boom in photography that occurred during the `golden age' of the daguerreotype, especially in the U.S.A., and examines the reasons why the daguerreotype was finally superseded by the photograph in the 1860s.

  4. The Ancient Metal Symbols

    G. Bjorling.

    Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 945, Jan. 1991, pp. 95-97.

    In the time of the ancient Babylonians, seven metals were known, Au, Ag, Cu, Fe, Sn, Pb, and Hg. Except for a few metalloids, this number did not increase until the Renaissance. For the past eight centuries, these ancient metals have been associated with symbolic signs. A review of the signs for the metals and explanations for these signs covers: Au symbolized with the sun, Ag is signed with the moon, Cu's symbol is the planet Venus, Fe is symbolized with Mars, Sn's symbol is that of the emperor of Olympus, the Greek Zeus/the Roman Jupiter, Pb is symbolized with the god Kronos /Saturnus, and Hg's symbol is with Hermes/Mercurius. Ancient metals are reviewed in relation to days of the week--Au with Sunday, Ag with Monday, Fe with Tuesday, Hg with Wednesday, Sn with Thursday, Cu with Friday, and Pb with Saturday.--A.R.

  5. Copper as canvas : two centuries of masterpiece paintings on copper 1575-1775

    Edgar Peters Bowron, Clara Bargellini, Michael K. Komanecky, Isabel Horovitz, Jorgen Wadum and Ekkehard Westermann.

    1999, pp. 346.

    Catalogue for an exhibition of paintings on copper supports by 65 European artists. Entries are preceded by six essays: "A brief history of European oil paintings on copper, 1560-1775," by Edgar Peters Bowron; "Painting on copper in Spanish America," by Clara Bargellini; "Artists' views of the miner's world," by Michael K. Komanecky; "The materials and techniques of European paintings on copper supports," by Isabel Horovitz; "Antwerp copper plates," by Jørgen Wadum; and "Copper production, trade and use in Europe from the end of the fifteenth century to the end of the eighteenth century," by Ekkehard Westermann.

  6. Phytoarchaeology

    R. R. Brooks.

    Endeavour, Vol. 13, No. 3, 1989, pp. 129-134.

    The identification of ore bodies and ancient mining and smelting sites by particular vegetations overlying them is among the phytoarchaeological aspects reviewed. Examples discussed include the presence of metal-tolerant plants, such as the African "copper flower" (Haumaniastrum katangense ) found only on Cu- and cobalt-rich soils, the European Cu-indicating Minuartia verta and Armeria maritimi , and the Zn-indicative Viola calaminaria and Thlaspi calaminare . In China another copper flower (Elsholtzia haichowensis ) accurately delineates Cu-rich soil and has led early miners and modern archaeologists to their respective targets. The presence of Alyssum corsicum on Ni-rich ultramafic (serpentine) soils in Corsica and Turkey is also reported, and coloured illustrations of stands of it and of V. calaminaria and E. haichowensis are presented. 26 ref.--J.R.*

  7. Microstructural and compositional characterization of Roman coins

    I. Calliari, M. Magrini, A. Zambon, P. Guerriero and R. Martini.

    X-Ray Spectrometry (UK), Vol. 28, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1999, pp. 86-90.

    Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive microanalysis (EDS) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDXRS) were used to investigate the composition and microstructure of some Roman coins from the Julius Caesar and Octavianus periods. The samples were Cu-based alloys with different surface conditions. The microstructural examination supported the chemical analysis data, explaining compositional changes from the surface to the bulk. Compositional data confirm the numismatic interpretation: coins issued by Julius Caesar were orichalcum (Cu-Zn alloy) coins whereas asses issued by Octavianus were Cu-Pb-Sn coins. Numerical Data, Photomicrographs., 14 ref.

  8. Sala Mpasu masks

    Elisabeth L. Cameron.

    African Arts, Vol. 22, No. 1, Nov. 1988, pp. 34-43.

    Introduces the masks of the Sala Mpasu of south central Zaïre, focusing on their use of copper on their most powerful masks. The author describes the social structure of the Sala Mpasu and the rôle of masks in it, and the history of their social interrelations with neighbouring peoples. She explains how copper was adopted at the turn of the century to reflect a new form of social status, the externally supported chieftainship.

  9. Of Mounds and Mysteries

    J. G. CARLTON and W. ALLEN.

    American Archaeology, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 27-33, 2000/ 2000/2001, pp. Winter.

    Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is located near East St. Louis, Illinois In about 1100 A.D. it was occupied by more than 10,000 people and in other settlements nearby, thousands more people resided. Archaeologists call them Mississippians, but the real name and language of these people have been lost. Cahokia was studied in the 1960s and again in the past 10 years, using more sophisticated techniques such as X-ray diffraction, coring of the mound to ground level, meticulous excavation, and underground electric current. Much has been learned about the Mississippians. They lived in thatched homes, and in about 10 years the Cahokia grew from a population of about 1,000 to about 10,000. A new theory suggests that a religious pilgrimage caused the rapid growth. The metropolis contained numerous mounds including the huge Monk's Mound, a massive 100-foot tall temple mound that was about three football fields long and three fields wide. The mound was engineered by constructing it of various soil types to permit drainage and create stability. It may have been damaged by a massive earthquake. Various researchers from several universities have learned much about the Mississippians. There is evidence of human sacrifice. Remains of many feasts held in the fall revealed berry remnants, swan, prairie chicken, and choice cuts of venison. Religious objects such as ceremonial masks were discovered. In the backyards and alleys of East St. Louis, evidence of burned buildings with food and valuables still inside were found. At "Mound 34," which lies between an interstate highway and a warehouse, a copper workshop and shark's teeth were found. Each new discovery provides more clues and new mysteries. Whatever sparked Cahokia's growth and demise must be deducted from bones and potsherds.

  10. 'The finest invention in the world': the Royal Navy's early trials of copper sheathing, 1708-1770

    R. Cock.

    Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 87, No. 4, Nov 2001, pp. 446-459.

    Copper sheathing of part or all of wooden hulls was one method tested by the Navy Board and the Admiralty to tackle the problems posed by the 'teredo' - the shipworm which was capable of wreaking terrible destruction on unprotected timber. The article describes the tests which formed the background to the decision of 1779 to copper the fleet.

  11. Treasure in the desert

    Patrick Cockburn.

    Independent on Sunday; 25 May 97, p. 20.

    The full text of the Copper Scroll discovered at Qumran in 1952 shows that it is a detailed guide to buried treasure, possibly the entire wealth of the Essene sect, hidden as the Romans advanced on Jerusalem. Outlines its fate since it was found and assesses its authenticity.

  12. Britain's first brass

    Michael Cowell, Paul Craddock and Ian Stead.

    Antiquaries Journal; 84 2004, pp.339-346.

    Stamps on the blade of a sword from the Thames, originally considered to be Anglo-Saxon, now place the sword stylistically in the La Tene II period (late third to early 2C BC). X-ray fluorescence tests have shown that the gold-coloured foil covering the stamps consists of 80 per cent copper and 20 per cent zinc, this being the formula for brass. The sword therefore represents the earliest known use of brass in Britain. (Original abstract)

  13. Mining With Microbes

    K. H. Debus.

    Technology review, Vol. 93, No. 6, Aug.-Sept. 1990, pp. 50-57.

    The combination of efficient production and a clean environment is discussed. A review is given of mining through the ages, starting some 6500 years ago. The fact is mentioned that by 1989, 30% of the Cu produced in the US resulted from a biochemical process catalysed by Thiobacillus ferro-oxidans. Conditions are described under which these bateria work at their best; suggestions for future proposals are also made.--T.Z.

  14. The 'Copper Flowers' of Central Africa and Their Significance for Prospecting and Archaeology

    G. dePlaen, F. Malaisse and R. R. Brooks.

    Endeavour, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1982, pp. 72-77.

    Plants indicative of underlying Cu-ore deposits in the Copper Belt region of Central Africa are reviewed. Of the approx. 30 types identified, the most closely studied have included Becium homblei , a member of the mint family found only on soils contg. more than 100 ppm of Cu, Haumaniastrum robertii , tolerating up to 10% of Cu and found exclusively over ancient and recent Cu/Co minerals, and H. katangense , which favours Cu-rich rather than Cu/Co soils. The escape of H. katangense to lightly or heavily mineralized man-made substrates has led directly to the discovery of fourteenth-century mining and smelting sites in Zaire, an example of which is illustrated in colour. 14 ref.--J.R.

  15. Prehistoric copper mining on the Great Orme, Llandudno, Gwynedd

    Andrew Dutton, Peter J. Fasham and D. A. Jenkins.

    Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society; 60 1994, p.245-86.

    At the Great Orme, surface excavation combined with underground exploration has revealed a system of copper workings of remarkable size, in area exceeding 24000 square metres, with passages totalling 5km and to a depth of 70m. This scale is unparalleled in Britain and is of international significance. Radiocarbon dates indicate that working was carried out for over a thousand years from the Early to Late Bronze Age. (Original abstract - amended)

  16. Metal-forming practices among the seventeenth century Illinois, 1640-1682

    K. L. Ehrhardt, S. K. Nash and C. P. Swann.

    Materials Characterization (USA), Vol. 45, No. 4-5, Oct.-Nov. 2000, pp. 275-288.

    When European copper-based metal trade goods, primarily kettles, first became available to native Americans early in the contact period, they frequently reworked the metal sheet, reforming it into objects that fit into their own indigenous cultural systems. The technical processes through which they converted these products into objects of personal adornment have seldom been investigated archaeometallurgically to determine the elemental make-up of the metals and the techniques involved in reworking them. In this study, undertaken at the University of Pennsylvania Museum's Applied Science Center for Archaeology (MASCA), a sample of 64 copper-based metal artifacts excavated from the Haashagerman Site, Clark Country, Missouri, were examined metallographically to identify manufacturing techniques and technical processes employed by the seventeenth century Illinois to produce these new forms. Proton-induced x-ray emission spectrometry (PIXE) was used to determine the elemental compositions of the artifacts. Results are presented within the larger contexts of early material and technological transformation among the Illinois as European influence intensified.

  17. The bell tolls: foundry technology in the history of culture

    G. Engels and S. Sanderson-Engels.

    Foundry Management and Technology (USA), Vol. 124, No. 4, Apr. 1996, pp. 46-48, 50, 52, 54, 56.

    A history of the role of bell casting is presented in commemoration of the centennial of the American Foundrymen's Society. Bells have been used since around 1000 B.C. to signal, call to arms, and celebrate. The Chinese perfected the art of casting iron bells about 500 B.C. The bells were cast in pits using a complex system of insulated ditches, furnaces with double-action blowers, and clay molds. Early European bells were cast in monasteries starting in the 6th century. The bell casters had their own secrets and special techniques for getting the sounds they desired. Copper tin alloys were used because of the richness of the tones that could be obtained. Modern alloys must contain 20% minimum tin and no more than 1% lead. Today, the industry is modernizing in all aspects. For example, CAD systems will be used for development of pattern geometry, design, quality control, and machining.

  18. Ancient raw copper from primary smelting sites in Cyprus

    W. Fasnacht and J. P. Northover.

    Symposium II, "Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology VI," 2001 MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, MA, 26-30 Nov. 2001 2002, pp. 199-205.

    Finds of metallic copper from various primary smelting sites in the Sia valley in Cyprus have been analysed by ICP-OES for their composition and by optical and electron microscopy for metallography. Results show a characteristic pattern of impurities for each of the sites examined which allow an assignment to specific types of ore body and geological matrix. Different zones of the Cyprus Ophiolite Complex were exploited in different periods in antiquity, but these results show different types could be exploited contemporaneously within a specific period, especially during the first millennium BC. One location in this area, Agia Varvara-Almyras, an Iron Age copper smelting site with the only complete chain of operation recorded in ancient Cypriote metallurgy, is used to show how analytical work can guide future field surveys to find ancient furnaces, slag heaps and mines. The ultimate goal of the project is to extend it to reconstruct the complete history of copper production in a well-defined mining district over the last 4000 years.

  19. The Copper Industry of the Urals

    V. A. Firsov and V. N. Martynova.

    Tsvetnye Metally, No. 11, Nov. 1990, pp. 123-127.

    A historical review is presented of the Cu industry in the Urals, extending back to the 16th century. Mining discoveries in the 1630s provided the impetus for developing the first Russian Cu smelting plant in Pyskorsk, some 30 verts from the Grigorovsk deposit near the Kamgork river. Historical data on this first Cu smelter is vague and contradictory. The first stable Cu production plant in Russia was established in 1640. Developments in the industry in the 1700s included discovery of the Gumeshevsk deposit, which is still being exploited, the construction of several Cu plants, each of which is documented here, and process development. It is interesting to note that samples of Cu from a large Cu table in the Nizhnetagil'sk museum that was dated in the early 1700s had impurity levels typical of electrolysis Cu. 11 ref.--J.B.

  20. The Origin of the Copper Used for the Statue of Liberty

    J. P. Franey, T. E. Graedel, D. L. Nash, K. L. Selmer and P. R. White.

    Hist.Metall, Vol. 20, No. 2, 1986, pp. 105-108.

    Historical records make no mention of the source of the copper used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty, although a local tradition suggests that the copper came from the French-owned Visnes Mine near Bergen, Norway. Records show that ore from this mine, refined in France and Belgium, was a significant source of European copper in the late nineteenth century. To investigate further the origin of the statue copper, samples of Cu have been analyzed from the Visnes Mine and from the Statue of Liberty by emission spectrography. A comparison of the presence and concentrations of metalic impurities show the two samples to be very similar, and a review of historical and geographical information on possible suppliers of the copper suggests that the Visnes mine is a very likely source. It is therefore highly probable that copper from the Visnes Mine was used for the Statue of Liberty. 10 ref.--AA

  21. United States copper companies, the state, and labour conflict in Mexico, 1900-1910

    Michael J. Gonzales.

    Journal of Latin American Studies; 26 (3) Oct 94, p.651-81.

    The turbulent history of the copper industry encapsulates the fundamental contradiction in capitalist development in Porfirian Mexico. The article presents a modified interpretation of the 1906 Cananea strike which places greater emphasis on the regional contest of the strike, the key role of the state as an ally of capital, and the impact of the conflict on rationalisation of production, worker organisation and participation in the Revolution.

  22. History of metallurgy in Finland: the Outokumpu story

    F. Habashi.

    Can.Min.Metall.Bull, Vol. 86, No. 975, Nov.-Dec. 1993, pp. 57-63.

    The metallurgical industry in Finland had its beginnings in 1908 with the discovery first of a huge chalcopyrite boulder near Outokumpu and subsequently a large copper ore deposit. The Outokumpu company was established and a small Cu smelter built. This was shut down in 1929 and Outkumpu became a major supplier of flotation concentrates to foreign refineries. In 1935, a large electric Cu smelter was built with an annual production capacity of 12 000 t blister Cu. A major nickel deposit was discovered and smelting and refining plants established. Subsequent Outokumpu products included zinc, cobalt, stainless steel and sulfur. The patent on flash smelting was among the first to be filed (in 1947) by Outokumpu and licenses were sold around the world. Today 40% of the world's primary Cu production uses Outokumpu's flash smelting process. The flash converting process was subsequently developed by Outokumpu.

  23. Chemistry and Metallurgy in the American Indian Empires

    F. Habashi.

    Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Bulletin (Canada), Vol. 85, No. 965, Nov.-Dec. 1992, pp. 103-108.

    The primary American Indian civilizations were the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. Each had its own form of government, trade, and culture. A common thread was their ability to work precious metals. They had developed mining skills, refining techniques, and alloying by the sixth century AD. Copper was the most common metal and was alloyed with Au and silver. Gold was found in river beds, but some mines were also used. Initially, metal working was simply pounding the metals into shape, but ultimately, the Indian learned casting and gilding. Among the American Indians, metals were used for objects of worship, ornamentation, and trade, but not for tools.

  24. Chemical Analysis of Archaeological Copper and Brass From Northeastern Ontario

    R. G. V. Hancock, W. A. Fox, T. Conway and L. A. Pavlish.

    Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Articles (Switzerland), Vol. 168, No. 2, Feb. 1993, pp. 307-315.

    Since it is now possible, with some reliability, to separate native from European copper using chemical analysis, we now sort archaeological Cu into geological (North American) or smelted (European) groups and thereby help address issues relating to the cultural impact of earliest aboriginal--European contact in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Twenty-six metal samples from 11 archaeological sites, dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries, were analyzed by INAA. The results were compared with reference data for native Cu and European trade Cu and indicate that of the 17 Cu samples in the suite, an archaeologically-unexpected high number of 12 were made of native Cu. The majority of these samples (seven or eight) derived from the post-contact early 17th century Providence Bay Odawa village. The remaining samples were made of brass (eight) and zinc (one). Two of the brass samples, from Point Louise, have remarkably similar chemistries and probably came from the same object, or at least from the same batch of brass.

  25. OUTOKUMPU flash smelting technology and the production network concept

    P. Hanniala, A. Jokilaakso and I. V. Kojo.

    Rudy i Metale Niezelazne (Poland), Vol. 45, No. 12, 2000, pp. 606-612.

    Flash smelting process for copper was originally developed in Finland in order to decrease the energy consumption in copper smelting by utilizing the heat value of the concentrate in production of copper matte from sulfidic concentrates. Accompaniment to this, the sealed process gave an economic possibility to eliminate the emissions from the smelting by capturing the dust in a gas cleaning section and S02 in a sulfuric acid plant. The process has been intensively developed over the years and, as a result, the process has been utilized for production of copper and nickel matte, high grade nickel matte, elemental sulfur, and blister both from concentrates and matte. In 1978 the first commercial Direct-to-Blister Flash Smelting process was commissioned in Glogow II smelter in Poland. The process for blister production from matte is called Kennecott-Outokumpu Flash Converting. The Kennecott Utah Copper smelter in USA was the first smelter utilizing a combination of Flash Smelting - Flash Converting for blister copper production. The sulfur capture in that smelter is higher than 99.9%, because both smelting and converting take place in a sealed furnace. The results achieved have shown the benefits of this investment and have set the environmental performance of the Kennecott Utah Smelter as the benchmark for other copper smelting operations to attain. In the present paper, new options for smelters are discussed for simultaneous reduction of emissions and operation costs. These options are illustrated by giving examples how the combination of matte production in any smelting process. Flash Converting and Direct-to-Blister Flash Smelting could be adapted in some existing smelters, and how these combinations would benefit the smelters by not only lowering the emissions, but, also by increasing production and decreasing operating costs with relatively small investment costs.

  26. Copper. (Retroactive Coverage)

    I. Hielle.

    Metal Times, No. 4, 1990, pp. 22-25.

    Copper, along with gold, is the oldest metal known to man. The history of Cu is traced, beginning with the earliest known use of naturally-occurring Cu approx 6000 BC in a settlement in eastern Turkey. Copper was used for tools, utensils, weapons, coins and jewelry. It could be cold hammered into almost any shape. Around 4000 BC it appears that the Egyptians learned the art of smelting Cu from malachite and discovered that the molten metal could be poured into molds of various shapes. Tin bronze, which is an alloy of Cu and tin, was another major discovery of the Egyptians possibly around 3500 BC. Bronze had the advantage of being much harder than Cu. Large scale use of Cu began in the latter part of the 19th century wheen Cu wire was required for electric lines and telephone cables.

  27. Microchemical Investigation of Archaeological Copper Based Artefacts Disclosing an Ancient Witness of the Transition from the Value of the Substance to the Value of the Appearance

    G. M. Ingo, T. De Carol and G. Bultrini.

    Microchimica Acta, Vol. 144, No. 1-3, 2004, pp. 87-95.

    In many Italian archaeological sites dated between the sixth and third centuries BC, unworked lumps of Cu-based materials are sometimes found, the so called Aes Rude, which according to archaeological considerations were appreciated as currency, as a medium of exchange and as a form of saving. The microchemical investigation of these ancient artefacts discloses their nature as apparently not usable for any functional applications or possible use. Indeed, Aes Rude resemble ordinary copper material, but microchemical results indicate that they are constituted by highly ferruginous leaded copper, making them useless for producing other metal objects by means of casting or hot and cold working. Notwithstanding this intrinsic negative feature, the production of these intractable Cu-based alloys was deliberately carried out to maximise the process yield in terms of produced metal from an impure and unselected metal ore by tailoring the smelting process parameters. With these considerations in mind, the microchemical investigation of these ancient iron-copper alloys gives evidence of the passage from the acceptance of an artefact value based on its true nature or potential use to the acceptance of the value based only on its appearance or form irrespective of its present or future use. This information could contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of human thought and economic and social interactions.

  28. Transmutation of Base Metals Into Gold: a Solution to the Essential Mystery of Alchemy

    D. M. Jacobson and J. S. McKenzie.

    Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (UK), Vol. 17, No. 4, Dec. 1992, pp. 326-331.

    The origins of the concept of transmutation of base metals into Au are explained. This central tenet of alchemy is considered to have grown out of the gilding operations practised in antiquity. It is shown that many of the features of transmutation described in the most ancient alchemical texts accord with the practice of depletion gilding of Cu alloys as applied to the production of Corinthian Bronze. Corinthian Bronze had its heyday in Rome and the eastern Mediterranean at the beginning of the Christian era when it was used to adorn the great eastern gate of the Temple of Ferusale. Its original centre of production appears to have been Alexandria where, significantly, alchemy is also reputed to have had its beginnings.

  29. Use of metals in Indian system of medicine (with special reference to Iron)

    C. B. Jha.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea , 21-24 Apr. 2002 2002, pp. 113-116.

    Ayurveda is recognized as holistic medical science. Its history is as old as Indian civilization. Earlier plant materials were identified for treating various ailments. Later on, minerals and metals were also recognized for therapeutic purposes. In Vedic literature (Earlier then 1000 BC.) six metals, like, Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Lead and Tin have been found mentioned. At that time, very few metals were used for therapeutic purposes. They were mainly used for the production of various war implements, hunting tools and domestic objects like ornaments, needles, knives, and many other sharp instruments. In about 700-1000 BC, Iron, Iron ores and few other minerals and metals were used in clinical practice, in the form of their fine powder. With the development of new pharmaceutical techniques during 9th-10th century AD, it became possible to make these therapeutically suitable. Now-a-days incinerated forms of minerals and metals are successfully used by the Ayurvedic physicians. This paper is restricted to Iron only, hence the details about its extraction technology, varieties, pharmaceutical processings, and therapeutic uses will be discussed in the full paper. [Iron was also used in making surgical implements.]

  30. Metallographic investigations of ornamental and ceremonial objects from the Royal Tomb of Sipan/Peru. I. Introduction, sample preparation and methods of investigation--studies on copper objects (coffin straps, spacer bars of a beaded pectoral)

    M. Kallfass and G. Horz.

    Prakt.Metallogr.(Germany), Vol. 31, 1994, pp. 603-649. Dec.

    The results of metallurgical investigations carried out on artifacts found in the Royal Tomb of Sipan/Peru (Moche culture) will be reported. The extensive work, carried out at our institute, was a result of collaboration between ourselves and the Romisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum in Mainz, which was entrusted with the conservation and restoration of a large part of the finds recovered during the excavation. The starting point of our interest was the particular special techniques used by the pre-Columbians to manufacture objects from copper, copper-silver, copper-gold and copper-gold-silver-alloys by hammering and annealing (sheet technology) and by surface gilding or silvering. These methods have been reported and discussed in recent years, especially by H. Lechtman. The numerous, multifarious and exceedingly valuable artifacts recovered from the Royal Tomb of Sipan offered a unique opportunity, by investigating certain chosen specimens, to clarify unanswered questions regarding the chemical composition and methods of manufacture of metallic ornamental and ceremonial objects from the Moche period.

  31. Contested communities: Class, gender, and politics in Chile's El Teniente copper mine, 1904-1951

    Thomas Miller Klubock.

    Durham and London: Duke University Press, 363 pp.

    Explores the historical process of class formation among the El Teniente copper miners, analyzing the transformation of a population of itinerant laborers into a settled and trained workforce in a modern capitalist enterprise. Views class formation in the mines as a "gendered" process in which formal gender ideologies and informal norms, values, and practices surrounding sexuality shaped working-class structures of feeling and political consciousness. Discusses the formation of the mining enterprise, the origins of a workforce composed primarily of transient single men and women, and early forms of worker resistance to proletarianization; labor strife, the institution of a program of social welfare, and the regulation of working-class sexuality; and the formation of a permanent working-class community in the mining camps and the elaboration of a leftist labor tradition. Describes the role played by the state in the gendered process of working-class formation in El Teniente. Examines how the men and women who settled in El Teniente accommodated to the new order of social relations in the modern copper industry while crafting strategies of resistance to the emergent regimes of class and gender, discussing masculinity and the labor process inside the mine; popular culture and working-class masculinity in the mining camps; and women, marriage, and the organization of sexuality. Describes how mining families established tight community ties that laid the basis for a powerful union movement during the 1940s and discusses the radicalization of working-class politics after 1946. Klubock is Assistant Professor of History at Ohio State University. Bibliography; index.

  32. Brass Plating

    A. J. Kowalski.

    Plating and Surface Finishing, Vol. 91, No. 8, Aug. 2004, pp. 9-10.

    Brass plating is the most widely used form of alloy plating today. Its origins date as far back as the mid 1600s. Those early solutions were made by first dissolving solid brass in nitric acid and mixing with cyanide. Due to the obvious volatility of such a process, it was not until 1920 that electroplating began to be used as a viable alternative to solid brass. As an alloy of copper and zinc, brass electroplate can produce a pleasing deposit that can range in color from the popular yellow to green to red to white. Its versatility is unmatched in its ability to be used in conjunction with various post-treatments to produce a wide variety of final finishes. The greatest use of brass electrodeposits is as a decorative finish to produce an article that resembles solid brass. The major use is in hardware markets. There are also applications in the fastener, lighting and display fixture industries. Brass has its functional applications as well. It is used in special corrosion situations (i.e, marine hardware). Also, white brass has been used in the automotive industry as an intermediate layer on bumpers. Steel wire, which must be drawn, is coated with a brass deposit to utilize its lubricant action to allow the wire to pass through the drawing dies.

  33. Iron and Old Testament. III

    K. Kuboda.

    World Steel (Jpn.)BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea4, 1988, pp. 48-49.

    The Bible quotations involving the uses of Fe and metals, which appeared from Job to Isaiah in the Old Testament, are described. "Men know how to mine silver and refine gold, to dig iron from the earth and melt copper from stone", in Job, Chapter 28. "A friendly discussion is as stimulating as the sparks that fly when iron strikes iron", in Proverbs, Chapter 27. The God of Israel says: "I have put a yoke of iron on the necks of all these nations", in Jeremiah 28. "A dull axe requires great strength, and be wise and sharpen the blade", in Ecclesiastes 10. "The Lord will settle international disputes; all the nations will convert their weapons of war into implements of peace", in Isaiah, Chapter 2, which is followed by "Assyrians will be destroyed, but not by swords of men". "The sword of God will smite them", in Isaiah, Chapter 31. "Are they not the worst of rebels, full of evil talk against the Lord? They are insolent as brass, hard and cruel as iron", in Jeremiah, Chapter 6. "Can a man break bars of northern iron or bronze?", in Jeremiah, Chapter 15. "The metalsmith stands at his forge to make an axe, pounding on it with all his might. He grows hungry, thirsty, weak, and faint", in Isaiah, Chapter 44. The interpretations of the above Bible quotations are discussed. 1 ref.--J.C.

  34. The study on ancient copper smelting - slags excavated from Dongchun-dong, Gyeongju, Korea

    H. Kwon, H. Yu, H. Kang, J. Choi, D. Han and H. Park.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea, 21-24 Apr. 2002 2002, pp. 323-329.

    In Dongchun-dong, Gyeongju, artifacts related to copper smelting (around 8C A.D.) were found by an excavation team from Gyeongju University in 1999. These artifacts are the second reported evidence of early copper smelting in Korea. The only other documented find of copper smelting artifacts were found in 1994 in Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, and are assumed to date from 6C AD. This study investigates the state of copper smelting technology in Gyeongju around 8C AD by examination of twelve items excavated in Dongchun-dong, Gyeongju. Elemental analysis and crystal structure analysis were performed using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and X-ray diffractometry, respectively. Optical microscopy and SEM (scanning electron microscopy) were also used to examine the microstructure. Lead isotope data for 12 samples were compared with those of galena of Korea, Japan and China. Elemental analysis showed high sulfur and iron content, suggesting that chalcopyrite was the ore used. The copper refining method is determined to be air forced by bellows into a furnace containing a blend of chalcopyrite, galena, and pure tin with charcoal. The excavated earthenware furnace is 23 cm high and 13 cm in inner diameter at the bottom with a tuyere for forced air entry. The granules and lumps of copper produced in the furnace were then melted in a 10 cm crucible. Based on furnace structure and slag, the refining temperature is considered to have been around 1000 deg C. This relatively low smelting temperature results from alloying chalcopyrite with metallic tin and galena.

  35. The Great Orme Bronze Age Mining Centre

    A. Lewis and M. L. Wayman.

    Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Bulletin (Canada), Vol. 85, No. 961, June 1992, pp. 73-75.

    The findings of Great Orme Mines of the bronze Age (nearly 4000 years ago) on the north coast of Wales that include various Cu minerals (chalcopyrite, malachite and azurite), stones and bone tools are described. Absence of Fe tools suggests a pre-Roman pre-Iron Age period. Recent survey reveals the characteristics of workings and mine waste of different periods.

  36. The excavation and study of the copper casting site in western Zhou dynasty in Luoyang, China

    J. Li.

    Bulletin of the Metals Museum (Japan), Vol. 28, 1997, pp. 10-21. Nov.

    Combining with the analysis and study of bronze casting in Zhengzhou of Shang Dynasty, Panlongchen of Shang Dynasty, Anyang of Yin ruins, the whole set of shaping technology, including bronze ware design, the manufacture of part models and moulds, installation of small moulds into big mould on installation models, baking the combined big moulds and casting, was started in Zhengzhou and Panlongchen of Shang Dynasty, was developed in Yin ruins and in Luoyang of Western Zhou dynasty, great achievements were made in many places of Eastern Zhou Dynasty. At the same time, the shape, structure and capacity of the furnaces are rapidly devloped. There are two sizes of furnaces in Zhengzhou of Shang Dynasty. But there are three sizes of furnaces in Western Zhou Dynasty. The diameters of big size furnace is developed from 0.8 m 1 m to 1.8 m. For the small size furnace, the height of furnace and the depth of hearth are developed inversely. The big size furnace may supply enough bronze liquid for casting groups or big sizes of sacrificial vessels in Western Zhou Dynasty, while the small hearth is easy to be controlled. This makes Eastern Zhou Dynasty the heyday in the Bronze Age.

  37. Archaeometallurical materials in Yan-culture region

    Y. Li.

    Nonferrous Metals (China), Vol. 55, No. 4, Nov. 2003, pp. 168-172.

    The necessity and relative information of archaeometallurgy in Yan-culture region are described. Yan-culture is centered around Beijing region, where every stage of the evolution of copper metallurgy was probably undertaken during 2000 years history. The metallurgy development procedures and the relationship with adjacent area of Yan-culture region can be well understood, and the new arguments for identification of the origination and propagation of Chinese copper metallurgical technology and exploration of the sources of raw materials in the Xia-Shang Dynasties may be prospected by investigation of the copper or tin mining and smelting ruins, casting site at Luilihe the capital city ruin of Yan state, early bronzes analyses unearthed at various period.

  38. A study on bimetallic bronze swords in ancient China

    H. Lian and D. Tan.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea, 21-24 Apr. 2002 2002, pp. 227-233.

    As early as in Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 BC) of China, there appeared bimetallic weapons formed by forged anode iron and bronze. This was the earliest combinative metal weapon in China. The formulas of Liu-chi in the Kao Kung Chi, Zhou Li, specify the copper and tin contents of bronze according to varieties of the kind of bronze articles. The Kao Kung Chi, Zhou Li was a work from the Eastern Zhou period, which showed that the ancients had fully understood the relationship between bronze alloy and its properties at least in Eastern Zhou period in ancient China. They could change the copper or tin content to get good bronzes. The bimetallic bronze weapons produced in Eastern Zhou (770 BCapprox =221 BC) were the creative application of the relationship between alloy composition and its properties. The spine of bimetallic bronze sword was cast with different composition of alloy from the blade. In this paper, the research on them was introduced with the help of modern examinations and simulated experiments. The lower-tin bronze was forming spine with good toughness and the higher-tin bronze was forming blade with high hardness and strength. By casting in steps, a bimetallic sword was produced with both rigidity and flexibility.

  39. The beginning of the use of iron

    R. Maddin.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea, 21-24 Apr. 2002 2002, pp. 1-16.

    We may never determine with certainty how, where and when the technology for smelting iron was discovered. What, however, we can be most certain about is that its discovery was in some way connected with the knowledge of smelting copper ores, i.e. with the knowledge that certain minerals could be chemically changed into metals with the action of heat and a reducing agent such as charcoal. Consequently, a good place to begin is with our knowledge of the status of copper smelting at a time just before any evidence for the regular appearance of iron. It was not until about the first millenium C.E. did the iron smelters learn to produce cast iron, a process that was known in China on the order of 1500 years earlier.

  40. Copper smelting technologies in Iron Age Xinjiang: the evidence from the Nulasai site

    J. Mei.

    Bulletin of the Metals Museum (Japan), Vol. 34, 2001, pp. 22-37. Mar.

    Based on the examinations of ore, slag and ingot samples, this research has demonstrated that Cu-As-Pb alloys were produced at the Nulasai site by using a rather complicated matte smelting process. As the only site that has been found so far, throughout Eurasia, to have produced Cu-As-Pb by adding arsenic ores into the matte, the Nulasai site provides the concrete scientific evidence for the development of copper and bronze metallurgy in Iron Age Xinjiang. It should be noted that scientific evidence is still lacking to relate the Nulasai site directly to the Saka cultural context at the present stage. It is hoped that future excavation and research will shed light on the relationship between Nulasai and the Saka remains in the Yili region of western Xinjiang.

  41. A metallurgical study of early copper and bronze artefacts from Xinjiang, China

    J. Mei, S. H. Colin, X. Li and B. Wang.

    Bulletin of the Metals Museum (Japan), Vol. 30, No. , 1998, pp. 1-22. Nov.

    The present study provides the first concrete evidence for metal working technologies employed in prehistoric Xinjiang, which include forging, annealing and cold-working, as well as casting. It is demonstrated that both copper and tin bronze were in use in Xinjiang from the beginning of second millennium B.C. to the mid of the first millennium B.C. The possible metallurgical relationship between the Tacheng material and the Andronovo complex is suggested. It is also suggested that copper sulphide ores may have been employed in Xinjiang to smelt copper since the latter part of the second millennium B.C., though the sources of ores are yet unknown. Given the known presence of the copper and tin ores in Xinjiang, the local exploitation of the copper as well as the tin sources of the region in prehistory seems quite probable. The find of arsenical copper in Tacheng is of special importance in considering its possible links with the Nulasai mining and smelting site, as well as its connections with neighbouring bronze cultures. The analysis of the ingot from Nileke provides further evidence for the view that the smelting of arsenical copper was practiced at the Nulasai site.

  42. Scrapping for pennies

    T. Mele.

    Scrap, Vol. 60, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2003, pp. 117.

    From 1900-99, copper's annual average US producer price was ~40 cents/lb. During World War II, US government controls on Cu forced the US Mint to use different metals for pennies. The 1943 "white penny" was made of Zn-coated steel. The steel-based pennies oxidized, rusted, and failed to work in vending machines owing to their lightness and magnetic nature. By the end of 1943, there was an abundance of cartridge-brass scrap from munitions factories and spent naval shells. Pennies from 1944, 45, and 46 were made of a Cu-5Zn brass alloy made from 70/30 cartridge-brass scrap. By the end of 1946, the scrap metal community had supplied 35 million pounds of brass)enough shell cases to produce 5 billion pennies. After WWII, in 1947 pennies returned to their old composition.

  43. The early history of insulated copper wire

    Allan A. Mills.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea, 2004, pp. .

    In the early 1800s galvanometers could be constructed with the fine gauges of silk-covered copper or silver wires produced for decorative purposes, but when Faraday was making his classic electrical experiments in 1831 he needed a sturdier gauge of copper wire. Bare copper wire was available in many diameters for mechanical applications, but coils for electromagnetic investigations had to be insulated with string and calico. It was soon realized that the cotton-covered springy iron wire then used to hold out the brims of ladies' bonnets showed how copper wire might be similarly wrapped to provide a flexible insulation. The simple manual machines used by the bonnet-wire makers were readily adapted and improved, and a six-head version was built by William Henley. This craftsman's vision of the growing importance of insulated copper wire was abundantly justified, and he built up a large - but poorly organised - empire in the wire and cable trade. Henley's original multiple-head wrapping machine has been located in the Science Museum, London, and the associated silk-covered copper wire subjected to physical, chemical, and electrical testing. For comparison, the electrical conductivity of the "mechanical grade" copper wire used by Faraday has also been determined. (Original abstract)

  44. The Digging Detectives

    C. Morrisey.

    Review, BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea71, Sept. 2004, pp. 28-31.

    Thirty years ago, Rio Tinto helped to conceive the birth of the Institute of Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies in London. The oldest known copper smelting sites that have been studied systematically date back to about 4,500 BC. They are at Timna in the rift valley called Wadi Arabah that runs up from the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. The middle of the valley marks a border between Israel and Jordan, and the Sinai region of Egypt lies directly to the west. Extending though the valley with Timna at the heart of it is a great spread of ancient copper mining and smelting sites.

  45. A Personal Perspective on Zambian Copper

    L. Mutakasha.

    American Metal Market (USA), Vol. 102, No. 33, 17 Feb. 1994, pp. 14A.

    To understand the developments in primary copper production in Zambia during the past 50 years, it is important to look back to earlier times. Before Zambian commercial production of Cu started in earnest at the beginning of this century, local people in the Central African region of what is tody Katanga, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe used Cu extensively in trade and commerce. A number of Cu ornaments have been found at various burial sites dating back to the 15th century. By the time of the Monamatapa Kingdom of Zimbabwe in about the 16th century, Cu crosses were used as the currency of trade, especially in the region between Zaire, Uganda and Transvaal, South Africa.

  46. The Ashio riot of 1907: A social history of mining in Japan

    Kazuo Nimura.

    Durham and London: Duke University Press, 275 pp.

    Studies the uprising that occurred at Japan's largest copper mine, the Ashio copper mine, in February 1907. Explains why the workers joined together in three days of unprecedented rioting and uses these events as a window through which to analyze the social, economic, and political structure of early industrial Japan. Uses the Ashio case as an opportunity to critique the dominant models of social scientific analysis in the postwar academic world in Japan, including Maruyama Masao's theory of atomized workers and Okochi Kazuo's migrant labor pattern theory. Kazuo is Professor of History at the Ohara Institute for Social Research at Hosei University. Index.

  47. Heat treating techniques observed in the microstructures of bronze artifacts recovered in the Korean peninsula

    J. S. Park.

    BUMA-V: Fifth International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Gyeongju, Korea, 21-24 Apr. 2002, pp. 243-248.

    In addition to the Cu-rich phase, a, there are several high Sn phases developing in the heat-treatment of bronze alloys with the Sn content substantially above 10%. The high Sn phases in a bronze article, with their characteristic morphologies, provide valuable information about the history of thermal treatments applied on its way to being manufactured. The present study has investigated the metallurgical microstructures of some high Sn bronze artifacts made in ancient Korea in an attempt to estimate the range of heat-treating temperatures and the subsequent cooling rates. The high Sn phases observed include the martensite phase originating from beta and the phase gamma retained at ambient temperatures and also the phase delta normally encountered in the slowly cooled bronze articles with no specific thermal treatment. It has been observed from examining the unique distribution and morphologies of the alpha and the high Sn phases that the ancient bronze workers distinguished in their heat-treatments the two eutectoid isotherms at 586 deg C and 520 deg C of the Cu-Sn binary phase diagram. The rates of cooling from high to ambient temperatures were also found regulated to have better control over the final microstructures.

  48. Metallurgical Examinations In The Archaeometallurgical Projects Of The National Museum Of Slovenia

    A. Paulin and N. T. Orel.

    Materials and Technology, Vol. 37, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2003, pp. 251-259.

    This paper presents a review of the metallurgical examinations of the systematic archaeometrical studies of Late Bronze Age copper and bronze artefacts in Slovenia (12th-9th cent. BC). The studies, which are primarily based on chemical analyses (the ICP-AES method), were carried out as part of various projects since 1994. The institutions involved in the study are the National Museum of Slovenia, the National Institute of Chemistry, the Department of Materials and Metallurgy and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Ljubljana, and the Institute for Metals and Technology in Ljubljana. In the first part of the paper the metallurgical analyses of the smelting process of sulphidic ores and the microstructural analyses of sickles are presented. They are followed by the results of an examination of several ingots with unusual chemical compositions using optical and scanning electron microscopy (EDX) and differential thermal analyses (DTX). These metallographic studies were found to be particularly important because they revealed the use of speiss ingots in the Late Bronze Age. This contradicts current general opinion about speiss, which considers it (with the exception of cobalt metallurgy), as a not very desirable by-product of smelting arsenical polymetallic ores. The second part of the paper is focused on the presentation of metallurgical examinations of a copper-iron alloy ingot with a high iron content from the 12th cent. BC, when ironmaking in Slovenia was not yet known. A possible process by which such copper ingots with a high iron content could be produced is explained and its role in the premonetary systems is suggested. Its unusually high iron content is reminiscent of similar but later ingots, dated to the 6th cent. BC, which played a monetary role preceding that of the first coinage. The results of this examination are presented in details from the approaches used in our archaeometallurgical research.

  49. Righting History


    American Archaeology, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 29-33, 2001, pp. Spring.

    Virginia's Tidewater region, with its famous Jamestown settlement, is rich in history. In 1994 the original Jamestown settlement was identified. It is located in a pasture in the floodplain on the Rivanna River just north of Charlottesville, Virginia. In the summer of 2000, Jeffrey Hantman and 20 of his students in the archaeology department at the University of Virginia excavated units at what is believed to be the Indian village of Monasukapanough, which was included on a map drawn by John Smith in 1612. The researchers have found the village midden (refuse heap), which contains rare artifacts dating to the 15-17th centuries. Hantman hopes to open up a broad area to learn more about the structure of the village, one of the largest in the Monacan territory and one of few contemporary with the Jamestown settlement. When European settlers moved in after the Monacans, they cleared the fields at the river. This caused increased flooding that deposited about a foot of silt over the village. The river was probably the middle of the village, not the boundary. In 1784 Thomas Jefferson conducted a systemic excavation of a large burial mound at Monasukapanough, using trenching and stratigraphy (geology that deals with the origin, composition, distribution, and succession of data) strategies. He recorded it in his "Notes of the State of Virginia." Hantman says Jefferson's technique was about 100 years ahead of his time. It was the first scientific excavation in North America. History records that the Monacans were hostile and barbaric. Hantman thinks otherwise. Evidence points to a sophisticated society whose members had no need to trade with the colonists. The Powhatan tribe valued copper and may have considered it a source of power and authority. The Powhatans and the Monacans were enemies, but in order to obtain copper, the Powhatans had to transport it through Monacan territory. John Smith and the colonists brought copper with them, so the Powhatans traded corn for the colonists' copper and became their allies, thus freeing them from dependence upon the Monacans. The Monacans were officially recognized by the State of Virginia in 1989 and have since applied for federal recognition of their Native American Status. One requirement for federal recognition is that the tribe document a continuous history in a particular region. The first data confirmation at the village site was from charcoal found near the river and radiocarbon dated--the data that came back was 1670. Having also discovered a deeper, earlier level of occupation that dates from 1300-1400, Hantman has documented continuous use of the site from that time through the contact period.

  50. Newgate of Connecticut; its origin and early history

    Phelps Richard H.

    Hartford, CT: American Publishing, 1876, pp. .

    An old copper mine at Simsbury, Connecticut, later to become Newgate Prison, was first used as a permanent prison in 1773. Among its early prisoners were American Tories who were loyal to Britain during the American Revolution. The history of the prison is described.

  51. Brief Historic Review of the Copper Industry

    W. Piersig.

    Fertigungstechnik und Betrieb, Vol. 40, No. 4, Apr. 1990, pp. 248-249.

    The processing of copper has a 10 000 year history. At the beginning only ingot Cu was mined and manufactured into jewelry and weapons by cold forming. The melting of Cu has been traced in the Kura and Araxes river area in the sixth century B.C. About 3000 year old decorated Cu products were found near Dresden in Germany which indicated wall thicknesses of 0.2 mm. The classical Greeks produced Cu based swords and other weapons. The discovery of the easy to cast brass alloy 500 years B.C. reduced the importance of Cu manufacturing. Containers and other products were cast in molds using molten brass. In the Middle Ages the use of water driven machinery reduced the manpower requirements for the Cu forging processes. 7 ref.--F.J.B.

  52. The Thailand Archeometallurgy Project

    V. C. Pigott.

    J.Met, Vol. 40, No. 1, Jan. 1988, pp. 36-37.

    The findings at the site of a prehistoric Cu mining complex at Phu Lon, on the Mekong River, which dates to 2000 BC are described. Evidence indicates that Cu was mined and smelted at the site. In association with other sites in northeast Thailand, bronze was also a primary product. 9 ref.--J.L.B.

  53. Ancient Metal-Mirror Making in South India: Analyzing a Mysterious Alloy

    S. G. K. Pillai, R. M. Pillai and A. D. Damodaran.

    Jom (Usa), Vol. 44, No. 3, Mar. 1992, pp. 38-40.

    Ancient metal-mirror making is discussed. Producing distortion-free images, the art of making metal mirrors has long been practiced in various parts of the Old World. By 1400 B.C., bronzes containing as much as 30 wt.% Sn were used to create mirrors. Although brittle, high-Sn bronzes, also known as speculum metal, yielded a highly polished surface and a clear reflected image. As traditional as the mirror-making technology is the artisans' belief that the composition of the metal mirror is divine and that some undisclosed metals alloyed with the Cu and Sn are responsible for the distortion-free images. For the archaeometallurgist, this represents a fascinating area of cultural and technological exploration. The tradition, the casting process, and the metallurgical analysis are discussed. Although the artisans believe the metal to be more than a Cu--Sn bronze, that is exactly what it is.


    P. -A PLOUFFE.

    PARACHUTE 21, WINTER 1980, pp. 32-41.


  55. Early copper-arsenic alloys and the problems of their use in the Bronze Age of the North Caucasus

    I. G. Ravich and N. V. Ryndina.

    Bulletin of the Metals Museum (Japan), Vol. 23, 1995, pp. 1-18. Apr.

    A short history is given of As bronzes produced in the Black Sea area, followed by a survey of these alloys of the North Caucasus, sources of ores, make-up of alloys and methods of manufacture employed. Metallography was widely employed in this investigation. The Cu-As alloys produced are considered very fully, as are their properties. They were found to place some limitations on production methods available at the time. These methods are described and the results they gave are detailed. There is evidence that the lost wax process was widely in use for small, intricate type ornaments.

  56. Copper crucible: How the Arizona miners' strike of 1983 recast labor-management relations in America

    Jonathan D. Rosenblum.

    Ithaca: ILR Press, 256 pp.

    Examines the Arizona copper miners' 1983 strike against Phelps Dodge, arguing that strike is emblematic of the decline of two vital achievements of the American labor movement: solidarity and the right to strike. Reviews the history of Phelps Dodge and of the company's relationship with labor unions in Arizona prior to the 1980s. Discusses Phelps Dodge's difficult position in 1982, as it faced stiff international competition, internal resistance to change, and hard-bargaining labor unions. Describes the breakdown in labor-management negotiations that led to the 1983 strike; the miners' initially confident attitude; violence and the progression of the strike; and how a flow of defecting union members and outside hires made the union effort appear increasingly futile. Analyzes, on a purely economic basis, how reasonable Phelps Dodge's demands were when it first collided with the union. Discusses the role of the national union in the strike; the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) role; and the final NLRB decertification of the union. Rosenblum practices law in the United Nations' International Labor Office. Index.

  57. Australia's Contribution to Archaeometallurgy

    L. E. Samuels.

    Materials Characterization (UK), Vol. 29, No. 2, Sept. 1992, pp. 69-109.

    All metal objects found on and about the Australian continent can be taken with some certainty to have been introduced by Europeans, because the Australian aboriginal people did not develope a metal culture and were not exposed to one until European exploration commenced. The oldest metal artifacts, which are also those of greatest metallurgical interest, have been found in association with shipwrecks, which abound around the Australian coastline, the earliest occurring in 1622. These sites have provided a rich source of archaeological material, which had been left undisturbed by man until recently. Fortunately, the disturbance has been carried out mostly by archaeological expeditions instead of by treasure hunters and looters, as has happened all too frequently elsewhere. The artifacts recovered mostly have been items used in hull construction and in ship's fittings and armaments (cast iron, wrought iron, and Cu and Cu alloys). In some instances, trade cargo including bullion has also been recovered. It has been possible to establish the provenance of all of this material by identifying the vessel concerned and tracing historical records in its home country. The artifacts are often comparatively well preserved, sometimes because they had been protected by an encasing coraline concretion, and so examples of European metallurgical technology covering the important period from some time before until just after the Industrial Revolution have become available for metallurgical investigation. The results of these investigations are reviewed. These artifacts have also provided information on the long-term corrosion behavior of a number of metals and alloys. Some unusual problems and challenges during conservation of the objects for archaeological examination are also of metallurgical interest.

  58. The Historical background to investment casting

    B. Smart.

    Foundry Trade Journal, Vol. 177, No. EICF, Suppl, Dec. 2003, pp. 2-3.

    The history of the investment casting process can be traced from the earliest beginnings, using extensive archaeological evidence, and it may be of interest briefly to trace this history, as a preface to the articles that follow. More detailed accounts have been published, for example by Taylor and Baker. It is believed that the earliest use of investment casting (under its traditional name of 'lost wax' or 'cire perdu' casting) was in the period 4500-4000 BC in South East Asia. By 4000 BC, it was being practised by nomadic tribes in Thailand and, some time later, in Mesopotamia for the manufacture of silver and copper items. There is evidence of its use around 3000 BC in Turkey in Iraq. Some of these artifacts show considerable complexity and technical skill, an example being a bronze casting of a chariot drawn by four asses from Iraq.

  59. Chemical and structural properties of ancient metallic artefacts: multitechnique approach to study of early bronzes

    G. Spoto, E. Ciliberto and G. C. Allen, et al.

    British Corrosion Journal (UK), Vol. 35, No. 1, 2000, pp. 43-47.

    The results are presented of a characterisation study of the microstructure and microchemistry of archaeological bronze (Cu-Sn) artefacts from the eighth to the sixth century BC. Metallographic examination, with optical and electron optical microscopy, has been performed on polished sections of early Iron Age studs and braclets found in incineration tombs of the Necropolis of Chiavari in Italy. A heterogeneous microstructure of the bronze was observed, exhibiting a wide range of grain sizes, and a predominant alpha -phase solid solution containing alpha / delta and alpha / epsilon eutectoid phases decorated with a high density of inclusions. The composition of grain boundary surfaces was determined, using scanning Auger microscopy (SAM), on specimens fractured in vacuo.

  60. Process Optimization in Copper Electrorefining

    M. Stelter and H. Bombach.

    Advanced Engineering Materials, Vol. 6, No. 7, July 2004, pp. 558-562.

    With an annual worldwide consumption of 14 Mt, copper is one of the major metallic materials together with steel and aluminum. At present, approx. 11 Mt of copper are produced all over the world by electrorefining in sulfuric acid electrolytes. In this process, pyrometallurgically produced anode copper of 98-99 % Cu is refined to so-called grade A copper of > 99.994 % Cu. From laboratory research in 1800-1870 the refining effect of the electric current on copper was known; this method allowed to remove disturbing accompanying elements such as lead, nickel, arsenic, antimony and silver. The first industrial-scale copper electrorefining plant was put into operation on July lst, 1876, at Norddeutsche Affinerie in Hamburg. Since that time the process was developed further with a lot of more or less significant details. In general all tankhouses in the world for copper electrorefining are working with the same process until today. In the fifties the technical electrolysis for copper refining was processed with a current density of 150-200 A/m2. In the last years the current density could be increased to 320-340 A/m2 by simultaneous improvement of the cathode quality, although the parameters "electrolyte" and "anode quality" did not change essentially. This was possible substantially by modifying the cell design, the starter sheets and the optimization of inhibitors and flow control at the electrodes.

  61. Development of superconducting materials during last half a century

    K. Tachikawa.

    Materia Japan (Japan), Vol. 40, No. 11, 2001, pp. 929-932.

    Superconducting phenomena were found in 1911 and metallic high magnetic superconducting materials triggered the active contribution. Nineteen sixties can be said to be the raising sun period. Nineteen seventies and eighties are the period of application. Material scientific researches contributed to practical application, for instance, precipitation effect of alpha Ti in a Nb-Ti wire, accelerating effect of copper on the formation of Nb sub 3 Sn compound. After 1990, the new era was open after discovery of copper oxide type superconductive materials. The first superconducting coil showed 0.43T, however, at present a 1 GHz superconducting magnet is approaching to the completion with 23.5T. During a half century, the progress was really remarkable.

  62. Copper production at Naganobori mine for Nara Buddha construction in the first half of 8th century and its development afterwards

    K. Ueda.

    The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, All That Glitters: Readings in Historical Metallurgy, 1989, pp. 3-6.

    Naganobori copper mine, which consisted of six skarn deposits, is located at Mito-cho, Yamaguchi Prefecture. This mine had been operated from the beginning 8th to 20th century. In this mine site, the field survey and excavation of Ohgiri district, where mining and smelting had been operated from 8th to 10th century, started in 1972. I joined in this survey as a member of the survey and excavation committee. In this paper, history, geology, mineralogy and the results of field survey and excavation are briefly reported. Next, the relation between slag composition and gangue minerals is discussed. In the 1st half of 8th century, Naganobori mine produced copper for Nara Buddha, mining and smelting copper oxide ore from Ohgiri deposit. In this period, iron oxide addition to smelting charge for fluxing the slag is indicated. In next period of 2nd half of 8th to 11th century, slag composition was improved by more addition of iron oxide. Calcium content in the slag of 17th century went down to 5.5% from 17% of 8th-11th century. From this fact, the change of ore from copper oxide to copper sulfide is estimated because copper sulfide ore can be separated from gangue minerals by hammering different from oxide ore impregnated into gangue minerals. Finally, the start of silver recovery is indicated from the lead content of slag of 17th century.

  63. The Baghdad battery - myth or reality?

    D. E. Von Handorf.

    Plating and Surface Finishing (USA), Vol. 89, No. 5, May 2002, pp. 84-87.

    In 1938, Wilhelm Konig, the director of antiquities at the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, was reviewing the findings of archeological digs of a site near Baghdad where the 1936 construction of a rail line had unearthed ancient remains. While it may not be unusual for archeologists to find items in gravesites for which the use is unknown, Konig was taken by one set of four unglazed ceramic vessels found in a grave that was dated in the time of the Parthians occupation of the area (248 BC-226 AD). Three vessels had copper cylinders made of copper sheet with a copper end that was lead-soldered to the bottom of the cylinders. One of these vessels had an iron spike inside the copper cylinder, with the remains of an asphalt-like plug. The other two vessels did not have the iron spike inside, but there were other iron spikes in the grave. The fourth ceramic vessel did not have the copper cylinder. Inside the copper cylinders were flaky remains of a papyrus-like material. Konig decided that the vessels looked like galvanic cells. Thus began the story of the Baghdad Battery, and the controversy that surrounds that description.

  64. A trip to King Solomon's mines

    S. Wakesberg.

    Scrap (USA), Vol. 54, No. 3, May-June 1997, pp. 95-96.

    A 1966 visit to the so-called King Solomon's mines in Timma, Israel, is recounted. At the time, the Timma mines were producing black copper, an impure grade of metal that has to be refined in a smelting or blast furnace to eliminate sulfur and other impurities.

  65. The Early Use of Metal by Native Americans on the Northwest Coast

    M. L. Wayman.

    Jom (Usa), Vol. 45, No. 7, July 1993, pp. 60-64.

    The early use of metals, i.e. copper, wrought iron, low carbon steels, by native americans inhabiting the northwest coast between Washington and Alaska, USA, is discussed. In particular, results of metallurgical analyses are presented for a number of early metal objects from the northwest coast made prior to the establishment of direct European contact. The objects, collected over a period of time since late 18th century, include three different types of knives and daggers as well as several types of traditional ceremonial objects known as 'coppers'.

  66. Native Copper: Humanity's Introduction to Metallurgy?

    M. L. Wayman.

    The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, All That Glitters: Readings in Historical Metallurgy, 1989, pp. 3-6.

    Native Cu is Cu which exists in nature in elemental, metallic form, rather than being chemically combined as in oxides, sulfides and carbonates. Native Cu is known to occur on all inhabited continents, although its exact occurrence and abundance in ancient times cannot be accurately determined. In the Old World, native Cu artifacts have been found dating back to the 8th or 9th millenium BC. In North America, it is believed that native Cu was being used at least as long ago as the 4th millenium BC. Native Cu is characterized by high purity, typically > 99.9% Cu. Microstructure of unworked native Cu is characterized by a very coarse grain size, presence of long thin twins, and a relative absence of second-phase particles. When worked mechanically, native Cu exhibits ductility and work hardening. Melted and cast Cu can be distinguished from unmelted native Cu by the presence of porosity, a dendritic or columnar grain structure and the Cu--copper oxide eutectic constituent in the microstructure. Native Cu artifacts were produced by hammering, folding or forging. 21 ref.--D.M.Y.

  67. Technical studies on renaissance bronzes

    B. M. Weisman and C. L. Reedy.

    Symposium II, "Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology VI"; 2001 MRS Fall Meeting; Boston, MA; USA; 26-30.

    The merging of art production and technological innovation during the Renaissance in Europe led to some of the world's most renowned master works in bronze. Published technical studies of such bronzes are still relatively few in number. The objective of the present study was to conduct a comprehensive investigation of comparative examination and analysis on fifty-two bronze sculptures which were attributed to a wide variety of workshops and individual artists. The sculptures are housed in the permanent collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria, and were shown in the museum's 1987 exhibition, Renaissance Master Bronzes. Technical analysis included identifying and characterizing casting and fabricating techniques through visual surface examination; studying x-radiographs; and identifying clay core materials through thin-section petrography. The results of these studies were subsequently compared to technical treatises /accounts of bronze techniques by three Renaissance artist-scholars: Biringuccio (ca. 1540), Vasari (ca. 1550), and Cellini (ca. 1568). The present investigation shows a strong correlation between its technical results and those set forth by the above scholars from the Renaissance period. The findings of this research and comparison indicate that many methods and procedures in Renaissance bronze production were not standardized. Rather, there is shown to have been a wide range of technical variation. The broad variance is demonstrated through numerous processes, including: modes of separate cast-piece attachment, armature construction, chaplet insertion, selection of clay core and additive materials, and removal of clay core portions after casting. The variance is also evident in the quality and extent of surface tooling and/or chasing, and in the visual appearance of patinas. One result of this study is a better understanding of the nature of bronze sculpture technology during the Renaissance period.

  68. History of powder metallurgy

    C. White.

    ASM Handbook Vol.7 Powder Metal Technologies and Applications.ASM International, OH 44073- 1998, pp. 3-8.

    Powder metallurgy involves the production of powder and its consolidation into a solid form by the application of pressure and heat at a temperature below the melting point of the major constituent. About 3000 BC, the Egyptians used a sponge iron for making tools. Although the product often contained large amounts of nonmetallic impurities, remarkably solid and sound structures have been discovered. P/M practices were used by the Incas and their predecessors in making Pt before Columbus made his voyage to the New World in 1492. The metallurgy of Pt, as practiced in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, is considered to be one of the most important stages of development for modern powder metallurgy. The Wollaston process of producing compact Pt from Pt sponge powder (published in 1829) is generally considered the beginning of modern powder metallurgy. In 1830, while determining the atomic weight of Cu, Osann found that the reduced metal could be sintered into a compact. Osann then developed a process for making impressions of coins from Cu powder produced by the reduction of precipitated copper carbonate. Osann also produced medals of Ag and Pb. In the second half of the 19th century, patents issued to Gwynn in 1870 were the forerunners of a series of developments in the area of self-lubricating bearings. The first commercial application of powder metallurgy occurred when carbon, and later Os, Zr, V, Ta, and W, was used for incandescent lamp filaments. The next development in P/M was the production of composite metals used for heavy-duty contacts, electrodes, counterweights, and radium containers. An important area of P/M that gained attention during the early 1900s was that of porous metal bearings. Infiltration techniques, porous materials, iron powder cores for ratio tuning devices, P/M permanent magnets, and W-Cu-Ni heavy metal compositions were developed during the periods between 1900, WWI, and the late 1920s. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, Cu powder and self- lubricating bearings were the principal products of P/M. The 1950s and 1960s witnessed the emergence of P/M wrought products. Hot isostatically pressed superalloys, P/M forgings, P/M tool steels, roll compacted strip, and dispersion-strengthened Cu are all examples. Commercialization of powder-based high-performance material in the 1970s opened up new P/M markets through superior performance, coupled with cost effectiveness. The 1980s saw the commercialization of ultrarapid solidification and injection molding technology. P/M developments through the 1990s have focused on intermetallics, metal-matrix composites, spray forming, nanoscale powders, and warm compaction.

  69. Early Bronze in China

    S. Zhu.

    Bull.Met.Mus, Vol. 7, 1982, pp. 3-15. Dec.

    The developments and achievements of China's bronze culture are discussed. It can be seen by means of archeological excavations in recent years that the appearance of a highly developed bronze culture in the Shang and Zhou dynasties was not accidental, but evolved gradually over the course of 2000 years. The methods and rules used in the preparation of bronze and castings of bronze objects were formulated through many generations of practice. The advanced bronze culture and extensive utilization of bronze implements played an important role in the development and expansion of productive forces and material culture in ancient China. 20 ref.--S.K.B.

  70. Copper

    S. Zhu and B. Zhang.

    Nonferrous Metals (China), Vol. 40, No. 2, May 1988, pp. 77-81.

    The discovery of the method used to smelt Cu from its ore must stand as one of the great achievements in human history. In ancient China, the advanced Cu smelting process and the extensive utilization of Cu alloys played an important role in the development and expansion of productive forces and material culture. Of all the ancient Cu mines excavated to date, Tonglushan is the largest and longest active. About 360 shafts and drifts with a variety of different structures and depths, along with a large number of implements were excavated. More than ten closely identical blast furnaces dating back to the Spring and Autumn period or earlier were found. It is estimated that the Cu extracted totaled approx 100 000 tons. The slag, with its low Cu content, displayed good fluidity when tapped from the furnace. Oxidized ores were used for a long time in ancient China. The smelting of sulphides was rather late. Recently an ingot proved to be a product of sulphide ore smelting in the Warring States found in Anhui Province, and an ancient mine of sulphide ore in Eastern Han Dynasty was excavated. Hydrometallurgy originated in China. At the time of the Northern Song Dynasty, the annual output of Cu made by this method was as high as 500 tons. The book entitled "Essentials of Copper Leaching" is the earliest work in the world on this subject. 5 ref.--AA