The Dawn of Metallurgy at Chalcolithic Arslantepe: Metal Finds and Other Metallurgical Remains from Level VII
Keywords:Arslantepe VII, Late Chalcolithic, lead production, slag, copper, copper high in arsenic and nickel, lead isotope analyses
This paper deals with archaeometallurgical remains from period VII (Late Chalcolithic 3-4, 3900-3400 BC) of the settlement of Arslantepe (Malatya, Turkey). It aims at compiling early metallurgy (metallurgical artefacts, slags) by means of interdisciplinary scientific analysis. In contrast to later periods, the metallurgy of the Late Chalcolithic has as yet only been investigated to a limited degree. Trace elements and lead isotope analysis of metal artefacts and slags allowed for a reconstruction of provenances of raw materials in order to deal with trade networks. Lead and copper slags were analysed for texture and phase content to reconstruct metallurgical operations. Late Chalcolithic activities from Arslantepe level VII are compared with the metallurgy of the previous level, VIII, as well as of later periods (levels VI A, VI B). Various metal groups could be identified at Arslantepe VII, most notably copper, arsenic copper and arsenic-nickel copper. The slag samples show the smelting and processing of copper and lead within the settlement, while the lead slags may also indicate the extraction of silver. The differing compositions indicate the use of different
raw material sources, which is also supported by the lead isotope analysis data.
Copyright (c) 2022 Nikolas Heil, Andreas Hauptmann, Gian Maria di Nocera, Thomas Stöllner
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