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Copper metallurgy in the Eastern Mediterranean

Work package leader: Prof. V. Kassianidou (University of Cyprus, Cyprus)

Other scientific staff:

· Prof. M. Martinón-Torres (University College London, UK)

· Dr R.C.P. Doonan (University of Sheffield, UK)

· Dr I. Bassiakos (National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, Greece)

· Prof. Th. Rehren (University College London, UK)

· Dr G. Papasavvas (University of Cyprus, Cyprus)

Work package description

Copper metallurgy is decisive for the formation of the Bronze Age, and the significance of this alloy continues undiminished into the Early Iron Age. Given the significance of copper and its main alloy, bronze, surprisingly little systematic research has been done on the overall pattern guiding the broad cultural and technological developments over more than a millennium, and vast expanses of space. This work package aims to integrating the study of copper and bronze use throughout the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean, through a strategic focus on the whole chaine operatoire of the metal.

This includes first the primary copper production in LBA and EIA Cyprus, tracing chronological developments within the by far most important copper producing region in the eastern Mediterranean.

Secondly, one ESR fellow will work on the various processes that dominate in urban metallurgy, from alloying primary metals (copper, tin, lead) to the re-use of existing alloys, and which are poorly understood.

The third step will involve two ER fellows and one ESR fellow to combine published and unpublished chemical and metallographic data on bronze objects across the region, from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity, to identify and define chrono-spatial pattern of copper use and consumption in the eastern Mediterranean.


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