Early Metallurgy in Cyprus. The Last 20 Years, 1982-2002
21 September 2002
Nicosia
Archaeological Research Unit
University of Cyprus

It has been twenty years since the publication of the ground-breaking conference, "Early Metallurgy in Cyprus – 4000-500 BC". The conference proceedings, edited by J.D. Muhly, R. Maddin and V. Karageorghis, have been a sourcebook for anyone working on the archaeometallurgy of the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the last twenty years, however, continuous fieldwork has brought to light new evidence which has radically altered many established views. This is why the Archaeological Research Unit of the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Cyprus, has decided to organize a sequel entitled, "Early Metallurgy in Cyprus -the last 20 years 1982-2002. Scholars, like R. Maddin, J. Muhly, H.G. Bachmann, B. Rothenberg, and F. Lo Schiavo, who participated in the original conference, will now be joined by colleagues, like A. Hauptmann, Y. Bassiakos, W. Fasnacht, S. Van Lokeren, G. Papasavvas and V. Kassianidou, who have been active in the field in Cyprus and the neighbouring regions in more recent years. During the workshop, new excavation and analytical data concerning the archaeometallurgy of the Eastern Mediterranean will be presented.
The meeting is organised within the framework of the project "Advanced Technologies for the Management and Promotion of Cultural Heritage" which is funded by the Protocol of Cooperation between Cyprus and Greece for 2000-2002.

H.G. BACHMANN
Professor
Institute of Archaeology
University College London
London
and J.W. Goethe-Universitat
Frankfurt-M

Bronze Age Metallurgy and Polymetallic Ores. A Challenge for Research

Archaeological finds, dating back to Chalcolithic and Bronze Age times, testify the frequent exploitation of ore deposits with a complex mineral assemblage. The beneficiation of metals contained in these ores was difficult but obviously possible. Among the metal sulphides of polymetallic composition, fahlores (in German: "Fahlerze"), are of special significance. They are sources of copper as well as silver and are characterised by associated elements, such as arsenic and antimony. Both survive to a certain amount in objects manufactured from copper derived from fahlores. A multiple step metallurgy, designed to extract metals from these types of ores, apparently dates back to the Bronze Age. Progress in recovery techniques has resulted in a continually improved efficiency. Traces of Bronze Age mining and relics of metallurgical installations, e. g. furnaces, have as yet only been discovered in the Alpine region. However, analyses of metal ingots (complete or fragments) and casting residues, excavated and retrieved in dated workshop areas in Central Germany, are ample proof that fahlores were of paramount importance already during the Bronze Age. It is only to be expected that in Cyprus with its documented Bronze Age metallurgy and the great variety of its mineral deposits, the mining and extractive metallurgy of polymetallic ores (and fahlores in particular) was equally common. The important role played by these particular ores in regional and general archaeometallurgy is just another topic for future research in this field.

Y. BASSIAKOS
Laboratory of Archaeometry
NCSR "Demokritos
Athens
P. P. BETANCOURT
Professor
Department of Art History
Temple University
Philadelphia

Early Copper Production in Southern Aegean: New Data
Since the early seventies, pioneering archaeological views had included the Aegean region in the 4,500/3,500 BC isochrones of the origin and development of copper metallurgy. In recent years, however, an increasing body of evidence (archaeological and scientific) indicate that, in the southern Aegean, the exploitation of local ore deposits and metalworking of copper had already started by the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C., and perhaps even earlier.
However, ore deposits in the above region are not as rich as in the neighbouring metalliferous provinces of Anatolia and the Balkans. 'Oxidized' copper ores (e.g. malachite, chrysocolla, cupriferous iron-oxides etc) outcropping on a number of sites in the southern Aegean, situated on islands such as Kea, Parapola, Falkonera, Seriphos, Keros and Ios are currently investigated as potential early sources of copper. On the other hand, unlike Cyprus, known primary ores of copper, in the form of sulphides, seem not to have been exploited for copper extraction, since remains of roasting or matting have not yet been found anywhere in the Greek Mainland and the Aegean islands.
On the Cycladic island of Kythnos, recently discovered remains of three copper smelting sites and two open-air copper mines are currently being investigated. The analytical data corroborate a consistency between the smelting sites and the nearby copper sources. The copper content of slags coming from different sites varies widely between 0.4 to 5.5, averaging on 2 to 4.9 % from site to site. The arsenic content is low, not exceeding 0.6% on average in all studied samples (ores, slags, copper prills, mattes), coming from all known smelting sites, as well as from all the recently discovered surface copper occurrences of the island. At two of the recently surveyed smelting sites there are large numbers of furnace fragments consisting of very coarse and thick clay with many small round holes slanting inwards. The interior of those pieces was heavily vitrified and some have copper slag adhering to them. They may correspond -very possibly- to the walls of cylindrical furnaces whose reconstruction will be presented in this paper.
The paper will also present analytical data on early copper slags from Chrysokamino, an excavated smelting site at eastern Crete, which provides concrete evidence that copper production took place there since the latest stages of the Neolithic Period (FN) and during the Early Minoan times. The copper content of the slags varies between 0.2 to 5.0, averaging on 1.9 %, while the arsenic content is relatively high, varying between 0.05 to 2.5 %, averaging on 0.3 %. From the same site come the earliest examples of bellows that survive from the island. Ceramic fragments of cylindrical shaft furnaces bearing many perforations from the bases to the upper rims and spaced every few centimetres, were discovered both in Chrysokamino and NW Kythnos smelting sites. Since no similar findings are known from any other prehistoric Mediterranean site of metalworking, we may be dealing with a particular copper smelting technology, which once occurred in the southern Aegean region.

W. FASNACHT
Director
Almyras Excavation Cyprus
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research
EMPA, Duebendorf

Almyras Furnace No. 8: the Only Complete Iron Age Copper Smelting Furnace in the Near East.
The copper smelting site of Agia Varvara - Almyras on the northern slope of the Troodos Ophiolite Complex of Cyprus has been under regular excavation since 1988 and represents the first and only complete chain of ancient metal production in Cyprus. All finds, from the mine to the refined copper metal, date from Cypro-Archaic II to Cypro-Hellenistic II, i.e. from 600 to 150 BC. Over ten different furnace units were found in situ and all but one, a possible bread oven, are connected to copper working.
In addition to the completeness of the site, Almyras has produced the only copper smelting furnace to be reconstructed to its full size, form and function on Cyprus. In fact, this furnace is not just the only fully preserved one on the Island of Copper but - at least for the first millennium BC - in the whole Near East.
This furnace was assembled to its full size from over 60 individual fragments and its copy is being processed for a computerized 3D-image. This computer model will be used to work out parameters of construction, operation, thermodynamics and energy consumption. The hidden parameters, such as human interaction, are challenged by copper smelting experiments.
Furthermore, over 500 fragments of tuyeres from the site of Agia Varvara - Almyras and other copper working sites in the adjacent valley are under examination. The shape of the tuyeres is conical, with an exterior diameter at the base of 12 to 15 cm and 5 to 7 cm at the tip. All tuyeres investigated are highly fragmented, no single piece is exceeding 10 cm in length. Some tuyeres were taken out of the furnace in a very hot and viscous state, judging from their deformation.
Small scale operations with a total production of a few tons of copper such as at Agia Varvara - Almyras coexisted with large production sites in the same valley. The social and economic structure to support or favour this diversified metal production in pre-Roman Cyprus still has to be established.

A. HAUPTMANN
Head
Institute of Archaeometallurgy
Deutsches Bergbau-Museum and
Privatdozent at the Ruhr-University
Bochum
R. MADDIN
University Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
M. PRANGE
Deutsches Bergbau-Museum
Bochum

Copper and Tin Ingots from the Shipwreck of Uluburun
The Late Bronze Age shipwreck of Kas/Uluburun (1306 BC), found at the southern coast of Anatolia, carried ten tons of copper and one ton of tin. The cargo thus represents the "world market" bulk metal in the Mediterranean. In this paper we report on the quality of the metal traded during this period and we discuss the making of these ingots. Cores drilled from a number of ingots show an extraordinary and hitherto unknown high porosity of the copper. Inclusions of slag, cuprite and copper sulphides suggest that the ingots were cast from batches of raw copper smelted in a furnace and, in a second step, re-melted in a crucible. The quality of the copper is poor and needed further purification before casting, even if the chemical composition shows that it is rather pure. The tin ingots in most cases are heavily corroded. The metal is low in trace element except for lead.

V. KASSIANIDOU
Archaeological Research Unit
Department of History and Archaeology
University of Cyprus
Nicosia

The Late Bronze Age Primary Smelting Workshop at Politiko - Phorades
During the1996 field season of the Sydney Cyprus Survey Project, Jay Noller, the project's geomorphologist while walking along a dry creek bed, observed a large quantity of slag and furnace material eroding out of the creek's bank. Looking at the material it was apparent that he had discovered a smelting site. The site, Phorades, located 3 km southwest of Politiko village, the ancient city- kingdom of Tamassos, well known in Antiquity for its copper mines, has since been excavated by a joint team from the University of Glasgow and the University of Cyprus, under the direction of A.B. Knapp and V. Kassianidou.
The geological setting, the pottery and several 14C dates place the Phorades workshop in the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, making it the earliest primary smelting workshop ever excavated on Cyprus. Although the LBA was the earliest era in which Cypriot copper was exploited intensively, before these excavations we had virtually no evidence of mining or primary smelting from this period. Over three field seasons we recovered an impressive amount of metallurgical debris: more than 3.5 tons of slag, over 6000 fragments of furnace rims, walls and bases, 50 almost complete tuyeres and over 600 fragments, and a few pieces of metal. The excavation has been completed, and we are now preparing the final publication. The paper will present the site, the finds, some of the available analytical results and preliminary ideas regarding the Late Bronze Age smelting technology, as represented by these finds.

F. LO SCHIAVO
Istituto per lo studio delle Civilta dell'Egeo
e del Vicino Oriente
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Rome

Archaeometallurgy in Sardinia, Year 2002
Remote Past (1982):
Copper metallurgy in Sardinia during the Late Bronze Age: new prospects on its Aegean connections. In "Early Metallurgy in Cyprus" , Acts of the Intern. Symposium, Larnaca, June 1-6, 1981, Nicosia 1982, pp.271-288.
I. Oxhide Ingots in Sardinia; II. Metal Ores; III. Archaeological Evidence: a) stone moulds; b) secondary foundries; c) plano-convex ingots and hoards; IV. Aegean Traces in Sardinia (Cyprus: Cypriot daggers; smithing tools; bronze tripod-stands, and else.

Recent Past (2001):
Late Cypriot bronzework and bronzeworkers in Sardinia, Italy and elsewhere in the West. In "Italy and Cyprus in Antiquity", New York, Italian Academy, Columbia University, November 16-18, 2000, Nicosia 2001, pp.131-152.
The Recent Bronze Age, Sardinia in the Recent Bronze Age, Nuragic metallurgy in the Recent bronze Age; II. The oxhide ingots; III. Ongoing problems and perspectives: a) The exact details of Nuragic metallurgy are still a highly controversial issue; b) the results of the Lead Isotope Analyses are contradictory and confusing; c) The suggestion that at least some metalworkers actually came and settled in Sardinia on a stable basis conflicts - up to now - with the archaeological data.
Future (October 2002):
Sardinia between East and West: Interconnections in the Mediterranean. In "Interconnections in the Mediterranean, c.1500-500b.C.", International Conference Rethymnon, Crete, Sept.30/Oct.1-2, 2002.
I. From the East to Sardinia: The Evidence of Pottery: a) Mycenaean Pottery in Sardinia; b) Nuragic Pottery in the Mediterranean; c) Pilgrim's flasks. II. A new document. III. Metallurgy. IV. From the East to the West: Atlantic revolving spits. V. From the West to

Sardinia: Weapons and tools.
R. MADDIN
University Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

Iron: Introduction and Dispersion
The discovery of iron technology, presumably by the Hittites, involved smelting of iron ore in the solid state which required removing the liquid slag to yield a forgeable bloom. However, items produced from the bloom gave a relatively soft product. Iron began replacing bronze when the iron could be further hardened by hammering a carburised layer onto the item or placing the iron in contact with a carbon source so that it could be absorbed. Iron with these cases could be hardened to a stronger product than bronze. This stronger tool along with the relatively abundant iron ores are the chief reasons why iron replaced bronze. These discoveries are thought to have been made by the end of the second millennium and rapidly diffused throughout the Middle East.

J.D. MUHLY
University Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

How the /Early Metallurgy in Cyprus – 4000-500 BC/ Came About.
(Did We Know What We Were Doing?)
By the late 1970's it had become clear that a number of scholars had been carrying out individual research projects on Cyprus, all dealing (in one way or another) with the development of copper, bronze and iron metallurgy. The projects involved excavation, geological exploration, mining archaeology, the composition analysis of copper and bronze artefacts and the metallographic examination of early iron artefacts, along with the analysis of copper smelting slags. Much had been accomplished, but no one knew what his or her colleagues were up to and future research plans were something of a mystery.
A perfect setting for an international conference. Bring everyone together, at one time and in one place, preferably on Cyprus. That is what happened, at the Palm Beach Hotel in Larnaca, in June of 1981. What this paper will present is how (and why) the conference came about, the setting, aftermath and implications of the conference, and how we managed to get the Proceedings published.

G. PAPASAVVAS
Lecturer
Department of History and Archaeology
University of Cyprus
Nicosia

The Casting Technology of Bronze Stands
Although it is clear that great amounts of copper were produced on and exported from Cyprus, the low number of bronze finds brought to light by excavations on the island, would make one wonder whether there was actually enough metal for the island itself and whether local smiths knew what to do with it. This, however, has been shown to be a misconception. Bronze masterpieces, such as the Ingot God and the Horned God from Enkomi, the four-sided stands and the rod tripods, prove that Cypriot smiths were as highly skilled in bronze casting and working, as they were in extracting and trading copper.
This paper examines issues regarding Cypriot casting technology represented by the bronze stands. From a technological point of view, stands are considered to be the hallmarks of the Cypriot bronze industry. They thus serve as a starting point for scholars assessing the high standard of metalworking achieved in Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age. At the same time, they document the role of Cypriot workshops in the dissemination of metalworking traditions outside the island, through the transmission of their form and technique to the eastern and western part of the Mediterranean. While their casting demanded technical virtuosity, they did not represent the isolated achievements of a small number of experienced smiths, but, as their number and workshop attributions confirm, were rather the products of many workshops, witnessing to the high standard of Cypriot metalwork. Their broad distribution in the Mediterranean was the result of their technological superiority and the high quality of their metal. Moreover, it appears that Cypriots used stands to promote their commercial activities. The case actually seems to be that they were not only distributing the raw material, but also new types of bronze artifacts (e.g. the stands) and, more important, the technology required for their production.

B. ROTHENBERG
Director
Institute of Archaeometallurgical Studies
Institute of Archaeology
University College London
London

New Excavations in the Chalcolithic Mine T of Timna
Mine T in the Timna Valley was first excavated in 1976 by the "Arabah Expedition", directed by Beno Rothenberg, in collaboration with the German Mining Museum Bochum. In March to May 2001 we excavated again in Mine T, and adjacent Mine T1, in order to clear up some problems left open by the previous excavations: mainly the extent of Chalcolithic mining in the area and the ventilation problems in the underground mines and their ancient solutions. Archaeological dating evidence of Chalcolithic copper mining and smelting in Timna is based mainly on flint finds in the mines and smelters: new evidence will be produced.

S. VAN LOKEREN
Fitch Laboratory Chemistry Fellow
British School at Athens
Athens

Reconstructing Metallurgical Landscapes in Late Bronze Age Cyprus:
Chaines Operatoires vs. Analyses
During recent years, Cypriot archaeometallurgy has undergone significant changes due to the discovery of new production sites such as Almyras-Ayia Varvara and Politiko-Phorades and due to the impact of extensive surveys such as the Sydney Cyprus Survey Project on the conceptualisation of ancient industries in the landscape. This has gone some way in balancing previously existing problems. Remains of ancient metallurgical processes are no longer seen as isolated markers of technological production phases, but are now being studied as contextualized samples. As a result, the chronological distribution of technological changes is being based on more reliable grounds. Nevertheless, many problems still remain. It is proposed here that a combination of different approaches can provide us with a more complete picture of ancient processes. At the first stage, justified and representative sampling techniques of complete collections of contextualized material will aide us in selecting more representative samples. Hence, we are able to link the archaeological background more closely with the scientific analyses. This also allows us to answer some remaining questions with regards to the nature of the large-scale copper industry in LBA Cyprus, by enabling guestimates on the scale of production. Secondly, the application of a theoretical methodology long since used in ceramic studies, the so-called chaines operatoires approach, grounds the analytical data more firmly in the socio-economic context of ancient metallurgical systems.