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Title: Reconstructing Early Cypriot Metallurgy : the Case of Pyrgos-Mavroraki
Authors: Romeo Pitoni, Marco
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Due to the extraordinary wealth of its ore deposits, Cyprus was the metal powerhouse of antiquity. The importance of Cypriot ore-mineral deposits has led to a wealth of research on prehistoric copper mining and production. However, this has overwhelmingly concentrated on provenance and exchange studies (via the isotopic fingerprinting of ores and ingots) at the expense of other research strands. In particular, important questions regarding Cypriot copper technology including the role and identity of bronzesmiths still await full investigation. Among the few cases of Early-Middle Bronze Age sites which show metallurgical evidence, Pyrgos-Mavroraki (Limassol) an early 2nd millennium BC settlement site, excavated by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) from 1998-2012, is certainly the richest known so far. The excavations unearthed a vast architectural complex, which hosted several workshops including an olive press, but most importantly, the complex yielded a great deal of metallurgical installations and residues. This research, through a combination of archaeological, analytical and experimental work, including SEM-EDX slag analysis and on-field copper smelting trials, allowed to reconstruct the smelting process used at Pyrgos. The archeological evidence shows that Pyrgos’s metallurgists used a rather primitive smelting technique, involving the use of simple bowlshaped furnaces, small crucibles and blowpipe equipped with simple clay nozzles. However, despite the high viscosity of the slags obtained did not allow a complete separation of the metallic copper, the slag-analysis proved that Pyrgos’s coppersmith were capable to smelt sulfidic ores, which are known to require a multiphase smelting process.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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