Ernst Pernicka

Ernst Pernicka
Curt Engelhorn Zentrum Archäometrie and University of Heidelberg

Prof.

About

395
Publications
182,345
Reads
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10,496
Citations
Introduction
Application of scientific methods to archaeology and art history with an emphasis on mass spectrometry and physical dating methods
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
Universität Heidelberg
Position
  • Full research professor
October 2004 - July 2013
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Professor (Full)
October 2004 - present
Curt Engelhorn Zentrum Archäometrie
Curt Engelhorn Zentrum Archäometrie
Position
  • Scienitfic and Managing Director
Education
October 1968 - March 1976
University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (395)
Conference Paper
Geological and mineral resources have played a key role in the development of civilizations, both ancient and modern. No one would deny that there have been many benefits from this exploitation of the earth’s resources, but there have been some negative ones as well. This is a matter which concerns us here. We wish to underscore that the fast-gr...
Article
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This paper aims at contributing to a better understanding of the beginnings of tin and bronze metallurgy in Central Asia by investigating a hitherto unique piece of a bronze slag. The object was originally discovered as a stray find only 4 km away from the large copper-tin deposit of Mušiston in Tajikistan. It contains many prills of bronze and cop...
Article
Full-text available
Since the mid-1970s a Bronze Age assemblage of metal objects has been recovered from the seabed off the south Devon coast at Salcombe, southwest England. The assemblage spans two suspected shipwreck events and comprises nearly 400 pieces of raw materials and finished artefacts, primarily in copper, tin, bronze and gold. Among these are 280 copper a...
Chapter
Full-text available
'The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia' is a landmark study in the origins of metallurgy. The project aimed to trace the invention and innovation of metallurgy in the Balkans. It combined targeted excavations and surveys with extensive scientific analyses at two Neolithic-Chalcolithic copper production and consumption sites, Belovode and Pločnik, in Se...
Book
Full-text available
The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia is a landmark study in the origins of metallurgy. The project aimed to trace the invention and innovation of metallurgy in the Balkans. It combined targeted excavations and surveys with extensive scientific analyses at two Neolithic-Chalcolithic copper production and consumption sites, Belovode and Pločnik, in Serb...
Article
Full-text available
The bronze cup found in Dohnsen (Lower Saxony, northern Germany) in the 1950s is an enigmatic artefact that bears striking similarities with the metalwork of the Late Aegean Bronze Age. We provide an accurate review of the primary sources of information on the cup’s find history and context, and we present the results of previously unpublished chem...
Chapter
Full-text available
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 q...
Article
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This pilot study addresses the analytical characterisation of 26 well‐known bronze objects of the Early and Middle Bronze Age of Central and Northern Europe. Besides swords and axes of the hoards from Apa, Téglás and Hajdúsámson, the investigation includes the famous Sky Disc and its accompanying finds from the Nebra hoard and several full‐hilted s...
Book
Full-text available
In Prague-Miškovice, a cemetery of the Únětice culture (UC) with a total of 44 graves was excavated between 1999 und 2001. The C14 dates range across the entire course of Central Europe’s Early Bronze Age – from the proto-Únětice phase to the “post-classical” phase of the UC. The high point of the mortuary activities occurred between 2000 and 1750...
Article
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Gold parting enabled the production of very pure gold for various purposes from the sixth century BC onwards, but analytical proof of this pyrotechnical process is difficult. We describe a new analytical approach for the identification of purified gold combining silver and copper isotopic with trace element analyses. Parting experiments were perfor...
Chapter
Full-text available
The tin beads from the Early Bronze Age (BzA1) graves in Schwabmünchen, district Augsburg, and Buxheim, district Eichstätt are strong candidates for scientific examination as the metal is in a rare unalloyed form. In the foreground are questions regarding their composition and origin. However, the finds are also interesting in terms of how they wer...
Article
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Based on 550 metal analyses, this study sheds decisive light on how the Nordic Bronze Age was founded on metal imports from shifting ore sources associated with altered trade routes. On-and-off presence of copper characterised the Neolithic. At 2100–2000 BC, a continuous rise in the flow of metals to southern Scandinavia begins. First to arrive via...
Article
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Jahresschrift für Mitteldeutsche Vorgeschichte 98, 2021, 9-62. Abstract Why the Nebra Sky Disc Dates to the Early Bronze Age. An Overview of the Interdisciplinary Research Results It is not unusual that archaeological finds come under renewed scrutiny. This is an important part in the progress of scientific research. All the more so when importan...
Article
A women’s burial of the Early Bronze Age that was uncovered near Ammerbuch-Reusten, Tübingen district in autumn 2020 shows clear relations to burial rites of the Final Neolithic in central Europe. The only grave good was in the rear of the burial. A small spiral ring made of gold wire at the left side of the burial at hip level, which can be consid...
Data
Black and white images of core segments from the Ries crater - research borehole Nördlingen 1973 (FBN1973)
Data
Black and white images of the core segments (Graded Unit, suevite) from the research borehole Nördlingen 1973, Ries crater (Germany)
Book
The Mălăieștii de Jos hoard was found by chance on April 14th 2015 in the back garden of Grigore Ion Vasile’s house (No. 31 Bisericii Street, Mălăieștii de Jos village, Dumbrăvești Commune, Prahova County, Romania). No ancient cultural layer has been found at the place of discovery. It may be stated that the hoard was not buried in a funerary conte...
Book
Full-text available
This volume presents the results of research on pre-industrial mining in the region along the south-eastern Bulgarian Black Sea coast. During rescue excavations some prehistoric settlements with traces of early copper processing were uncovered. This initiated a thorough investigation of the copper ore deposits of Burgas, Rosen and Medni Rid that we...
Article
Full-text available
It is not unusual that archaeological finds come under renewed scrutiny. This is actually an important part in the progress of scientific research. All the more so when important and ground-breaking discoveries are involved, like the Nebra Sky Disc, which is listed among the UNESCO “Memory of the World”. However, in most cases a new assessment is b...
Chapter
Full-text available
This short chapter of a catalogue (in German) to the Museum Exhibition "Die Welt der Himmelsscheibe von Nebra - Neue Horizonte" (4. June 2021 to 9. January 2022 at the Museum für Vorschichte in Halle, Germany) gives a brief summary of the provenance of the gold of the Sky Disk from Cornwall. The illustrations show natural gold nuggets from Cornwall...
Book
Full-text available
The complex detailed analysis and publication of archaeological and anthropological data and the results of numerous science analyses of archaeological and anthropological material (palaeopathology, epigenetics, isotope analysis, 14C, analyses of metal, amber, stone tools, Sr, O, C and N isotopy etc.) form an essential foundation of the first-rate,...
Chapter
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Grave 50 contained three simple annular tin rings with open ends, two of which were in fragments (Fig. 279; Chap. 11.2.11). The fragments were analysed using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and afterwards with a multi collector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) in order to determine the tin isotope composition. The same proce...
Chapter
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The geochemical analysis of oxhide ingots from Eastern Bulgarian museums is a compulsory step towards a convincing explanation of these objects. Being the hallmark of Late Bronze Age trade in the eastern Mediterranean, oxhide ingots are among the few commodities passing over the economic and cultural confines of the Aegean into continental Europe....
Article
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Planoconvex copper ingots (also named "casting cakes" and "bun ingots") were found in huge amounts in the Salzach and Saalach valley, but also at the Mitterberg and in the Saalfelden district. 103 of these ingots (partly fragments) were analysed chemically and about 50 complete or nearly complete ingots were classified by means of their shapes and...
Article
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Although scientific methods are frequently applied in archaeology and are often considered as indispensable, their results do not always agree with archaeological expectations. This can usually be resolved by detailed discussions and by acknowledging the potentials and limitations of the different approaches. To do this it is necessary to accept th...
Article
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Aus Salzburg, Tirol und dem südlichen Bayern sind eine große Zahl prähistorischer Rohkupferfragmente und plankonvexer Kupfergusskuchen bekannt, wovon knapp 300 im Rahmen verschiedener Analyseprojekte in den letzten 15 Jahren chemisch analysiert werden konnten. Im Zuge einer Studie in Salzburg (Salzburger Gusskuchenprojekt) konnte auf Basis von rund...
Article
Revealing and understanding the mechanisms behind social inequality in prehistoric societies is a major challenge. By combining genome wide data, isotopic evidence as well as anthropological and archaeological data, we go beyond the dominating supra-regional approaches in archaeogenetics to shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance...
Chapter
Full-text available
The origin of Bronze Age tin has long been one of the greatest mysteries of archaeological research. Although the metal in the form of bronze already appeared in the late 4th and 3rd centuries in Anatolia, the Aegean and the Middle East, the sources of supply are still practically unknown. This is mainly due to the fact that there are no rich tin d...
Article
The paper focuses on isotopic data of bronzes from the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. The sample sets comprise bronzes from hoards, graves, and settlements from Central and Southeastern Europe as well as the Aegean and Mesopotamia. The analytical determination of tin isotopic compositions and a possible use of tin from different ore sources between the...
Article
Full-text available
The rich and long-lasting Nordic Bronze Age was dependent throughout on incoming flows of copper and tin. The crucial turning point for the development of the NBA can be pinpointed as the second phase of the Late Neolithic (LN II, c. 2000-1700 BC) precisely because the availability and use of metal increased markedly at this time. But the precise p...
Article
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The origin of the tin used for the production of bronze in the Eurasian Bronze Age is still one of the mysteries in prehistoric archaeology. In the past, numerous studies were carried out on archaeological bronze and tin objects with the aim of determining the sources of tin, but all failed to find suitable fingerprints. In this paper we investigat...
Article
Full-text available
Tin isotope ratios may be a useful tool for tracing back the tin in archaeological metal artefacts (tin metal, bronze) to the geological source and could provide information on ancient smelting processes. This study presents the results of laboratory experiments, which reduced (smelted) synthetic stannic oxide, natural cassiterite and corroded arch...
Book
Full-text available
The exploitation of copper deposits in the mountainous areas of the Alps gained enormous economic importance particularly in the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C., as Alpine copper began to play a central role in the metal supply of Europe. This volume summarises the current state of research on prehistoric Alpine copper exploitation from the western and...