Citations

... Chernykh 1992; Roberts et al. 2009). In addition, there are geologically rich regions with extensive evidence for metallurgical innovation such as Iberia and Iran where the use of arsenical copper persisted for centuries despite the widespread potential availability in the region of both copper and tin ores (Cuenod et al. 2015;Helwing 2013;Perucchetti et al. 2020;Rehren et al. 2012;Thornton 2009). Yet, there is neither a pan-regional synthesis or comparative analysis of arsenical and antimonial copper metal use in Europe, North Africa or Asia nor even clarity on how the alloy was consistently produced, transmitted and traded. ...
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The results and experiences gained from the multidisciplinary and holistic approaches underlying the Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia project provide an opportunity, not only to reflect on programmes of further research in the Balkans, but also on scholarship in early metallurgy across the world. This chapter outlines what might be usefully taken forward from this project, but also seeks to highlight gaps in our understandings that could be addressed. It is by no means a comprehensive agenda for global early metallurgy studies but is instead intended to stimulate further debate and discussions that lead to new programmes of research.
... This settlement was conveniently located near the rich copper mineralisation Ergani Maden but the exploitation of this source has not yet been demonstrated. By 6000 BC, the use of copper minerals had spread beyond its 'core' zone in Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia to the Levant (Golden 2010), Transcaucasia (Kavtaradze 1999;Courcier 2014), the Balkans (Glumac and Tringham 1990;Thornton 2001; see below), Iran (Pigott 1999;Thornton 2009;Helwing 2013) and Pakistan (Kenoyer and Miller 1999;Hoffmann and Miller 2014). The strong association of intensive copper mineral use and agriculture is apparent and has been advocated as inherently related to the strong symbolism of its green colour in relation to crop fertility (Bar-Yosef Mayer and Porat 2008). ...
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This chapter reviews the pre-existing evidence and interpretations for early mineral use and metallurgy in the Balkans from the earliest use of copper minerals at c. 6200 BC (Late Mesolithic-Early Neolithic) to c. 3700 BC (end of the Chalcolithic). It presents the empirical and intellectual foundations upon which the data, analyses and interpretations of The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia project builds. The early metallurgy in this region encompasses the production, distribution and consumption of copper, gold, bronze, lead and silver, all being either pure metals or a natural alloy (tin bronze)1. The chapter initially defines the geographical and temporal scope under consideration before evaluating the archaeological and metallurgical evidence in relation to: mineral exploitation; mining; smelting, metals and metal artefacts; and metal circulation. Following each of these sub-sections is a summary of how The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia project oughtto contribute to this aspect of metallurgical activity, setting this in relation to the project’s six research questions as presented in Chapter 2. The chapter concludes by highlighting the dominant interpretative narratives relating to early metallurgy, metallurgists and societies in the Balkans that The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia project will evaluate, against all the available and relevant archaeological and metallurgical data.
... This time span covers the shift from a Chalcolithic occupation in increasingly complex and large villages to central places modeled on urban examples known from the lowlands of Susiana and Mesopotamia. This shift towards centralization encompasses major changes in the organization and scale of craft and trade (Helwing 2013a(Helwing , 2013bHelwing, this volume). ...
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The Arisman ancient metallurgical site is located in western Central Iran. This site hosts hugemetallurgical remains from the late 4th to early 3rdmillennium BCE, which attest to an extensiveproduction of arsenical copper and silver at the same time. Despite the archaeometallurgicalinvestigations that have so far been carried out at Arisman, some questions about the provenanceof the ore, the technological procedures utilized and the possible connection between copperand silver production are still open. Thus, the authors have reviewed the previously publisheddata and investigated and/or re-examined some of the metallurgical remains of the site includingore and slag pieces, as well as litharge fragments, through the use of ICP-MS, XRD, SEM, andoptical microscopy. The results demonstrate a sharper picture for the metallurgical processes anda clearer provenance for the ore. It seems that the ore was provided from two polymetallic oredeposits of Baqoroq and Komjan in Central Iran. The polymetallic ore contained copper, arsenic, lead, and silver and was processed in two interconnected steps of smelting and cupellation, which produced arsenical copper and silver. .................................................................................................................... Keywords: Archaeometallurgy of Iran, ancient metallurgy, ancient mining, 4th and 3th Millenniums BCE, arsenical copper, ancient silver production, cupellation, isotope analysis
... We have no good evidence for contemporary graves in the highlands, therefore we do not precisely know if the consumers of the copper industry were only located in lowland sites or remain invisible in the highlands for reasons of selective preservation. The repercussions of these overland contacts are small objects that indicate influences from the lowlands on the communities of the plateau, in particular stamps and early cylinder seals, but also some vessels, like spouted vessels, linked to drinking habits (Helwing 2013b). ...
... The introduction of smelting furnaces correlates with a major social reorganisation, which occurred towards the end of the 4th millennium BCE (Helwing 2013b). This reorganisation includes a major shift in settlement organisation resulting in singular, large-scale urban-type settlements within an apparently empty hinterland, as opposed to the even distribution of settlements through the countryside in the preceding centuries. ...
... There are, arguably, a total of six major heartlands of early metallurgical invention and/or innovation in western Eurasia (Radivojević et al. 2010b), each of which is-not coincidentally-also geologically rich in copper mineral deposits with widespread surface expressions. In addition to the Balkans-our focus here-these are Iberia (Kunst, 2013;Montero Ruiz & Murillo-Barroso, 2016;Montero Ruiz et al. 2021), Anatolia (Lehner & Yener, 2014), the Levant (Golden, 2010;Klimscha, 2013), the Caucasus (Courcier, 2014), and Iran (Helwing, 2013;Thornton, 2009a). Currently the Balkans are perhaps the most intensively investigated of these, from both archaeological and archaeometallurgical perspectives (see papers in Roberts & Thornton, 2014). ...
... This settlement was conveniently located near the rich copper mineralisation outcrop of Ergani Maden, but the prehistoric exploitation of this source has not yet been demonstrated. By 6000 BC, the use of copper minerals spreads beyond its 'core' zone in Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia to the Levant (Golden, 2010), Transcaucasia (Courcier, 2014;Kavtaradze, 1999), the Balkans (Glumac & Tringham, 1990;Thornton, 2001; see below), Iran (Helwing, 2013;Pigott, 1999;Pakistan (Hoffmann &Miller, 2014;Kenoyer & Miller, 1999). The strong association of intensive copper mineral use and agriculture is apparent, and has been explained by Bar-Yosef Mayer and Porat (2008) as inherently related to the powerful symbolism of the colour green in relation to crop fertility. ...
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This paper analyses and re-evaluates current explanations and interpretations of the origins, development and societal context of metallurgy in the Balkans (c. 6200–3700 BC). The early metallurgy in this region encompasses the production, distribution and consumption of copper, gold, tin bronze, lead and silver. The paper draws upon a wide range of existing archaeometallurgical and archaeological data, the diversity and depth of which make the Balkans one of the most intensively investigated of all early metallurgical heartlands across the world. We focus specifically on the ongoing debates relating to (1) the independent invention and innovation of different metals and metal production techniques; (2) the analysis and interpretation of early metallurgical production cores and peripheries, and their collapses; and (3) the relationships between metals, metallurgy and society. We argue that metal production in the Balkans throughout this period reflects changes in the organisation of communities and their patterns of cooperation, rather than being the fundamental basis for the emergence of elites in an increasingly hierarchical society.
... The view of early metallurgy as closely interwoven with, but distinct from stone bead manufacture has been presented elsewhere (Radivojevi c et al., 2010(Radivojevi c et al., : 2784Radivojevi c and Rehren, 2016); the latter going back well into the 11th millennium cal BC. By c. 6000 cal BC, the use of copper minerals and native copper had spread from Anatolia and the Levant across wide parts of Eurasia, including Syria (Golden, 2010), Transcaucasia (Kavtaradze, 1999), the Balkans (Glumac and Tringham, 1990;Radivojevi c and Kuzmanovi c-Cvetkovi c, 2014;Radivojevi c, 2015), Iran (Pigott, 1999;Thornton, 2009;Helwing, 2013) and Pakistan (Kenoyer and Miller, 1999). The use of copper minerals has been strongly associated with their aesthetics, as has been observed in the use of 'greenstones' as inherently related to the rich symbolism of the green colour as a fertility charm (Bar-Yosef Mayer and Porat, 2008). ...
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The scholarly quest for the origins of metallurgy has focused on a broad region from the Balkans to Central Asia, with different scholars advocating a single origin and multiple origins, respectively. One particular find has been controversially discussed as the potentially earliest known example of copper smelting in western Eurasia, a copper ‘slag’ piece from the Late Neolithic to Chalcolithic site of Çatalhöyük in central Turkey. Here we present a new assessment of metal making at Çatalhöyük based on the re-analysis of minerals, mineral artefacts and high-temperature materials excavated in the 1960s by J. Mellaart and first analysed by Neuninger, Pittioni and Siegl in 1964. This paper focuses on copper-based minerals, the alleged piece of metallurgical slag, and copper metal beads, and their contextual relationship to each other. It is based on new microstructural, compositional and isotopic analyses, and a careful re-examination of the fieldwork documentation and analytical data related to the c. 8500 years old high-temperature debris at Çatalhöyük. We re-interpret the sample identified earlier as metallurgical slag as incidentally fired green pigment, which was originally deposited in a burial and later affected by a destructive fire that also charred the bones of the interred body. We also re-confirm the contemporary metal beads as made from native metal. Our results provide a new and conclusive explanation of the previously contentious find, and reposition Çatalhöyük in a new narrative of the multiple origins of metallurgy in the Old World.