Thilo Rehren

Thilo Rehren
The Cyprus Institute · Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC)

About

222
Publications
166,682
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,184
Citations
Introduction
I'm over at https://cyi.academia.edu/ThiloRehren - sorry I can't maintain two profiles simultaneously! Visit me there for my publications for download etc. Thilo

Publications

Publications (222)
Article
The study of a well-preserved crucible fragment from the Middle Kingdom Egyptian fortress in Buhen in lower Nubia revealed the unexpected presence of numerous prills of very arsenic- and nickel-rich copper alloy in what looks like a smelting slag. Based on optical and scanning electron microscopy on a polished section, this paper discusses the pote...
Article
The differentiation between alchemy and chemistry as separate disciplines is relatively recent. As such, an understanding of the early history of chemistry requires an approach to actual laboratory activities that avoids anachronistic biases and generalisations. This paper presents the analytical study of an assemblage of early modern chemical vess...
Article
Archaeometric studies on early Byzantine glass excavated in Greece are extremely scarce in the literature and almost exclusively related to small groups of samples, mainly glass tesserae. The aim of this study is to present archaeometric data of a large assemblage of early Byzantine glass excavated in ancient Lappa, modern town of Argyroupolis, SW...
Article
Full-text available
This paper challenges the conventional characterisation of glazed ware productions in the eastern Mediterranean, especially the ones which did not feature the use of opaque or tin-glazed technology, as technologically stagnant and unsusceptible to broader socio-economic developments from the late medieval period onwards. Focusing on the Cypriot exa...
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...
Chapter
Full-text available
A well-preserved arrowhead of the Bodkin type was investigated by micro-X-ray computed tomography, and shown to be made from bloomery iron forged into shape. Some really nice images were obtained and are presented here. As discussed in more detail in the main chapter on Iron arrowheads from the Dinka Settlement Complex, 2015-2019, by A Hellmuth Kra...
Article
Micro-slag artefacts from ancient bronze casting workshops were largely ignored in previous research despite their rich information potential. Current research demonstrates they could significantly enhance our understanding about past metallurgical activities but their identification requires careful in-situ analysis and a well-designed sampling st...
Article
The soldering techniques used in ancient goldwork are of great interesting for scholars from various disciplines. In this paper, the soldering techniques of the 3rd to 5th century CE gold artefacts from the Boma site in Xinijang are investigated based on micro-analysis of cross-section samples. The results show that Au-Ag-Cu ternary alloy with high...
Article
Full-text available
For more than a century, evidence for the production of crucible steel in Central and Southern Asia, prior to the European Industrial Revolution, has fascinated and challenged material scientists, historians and archaeologists. At the same time, chromium-alloyed stainless steel was developed in the early 20th century, building upon 19th century exp...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of glass crucible fragments with the remains of semi-finished glass at Ile-Ife, Nigeria, has provided the first evidence for the existence of autonomous glass production in sub-Saharan Africa.
Article
Full-text available
The present paper re-examines the purported relationship between Late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic pottery firing technology and the world's earliest recorded copper metallurgy at two Serbian Vinča culture sites, Belovode and Pločnik (c. 5350 to 4600 BC). A total of eighty-eight well-dated sherds including dark-burnished and graphite-painted potter...
Article
With exception of Maluma (1979) and Musambachime (2016, 2017), there have been no archaeometallurgical publications on the technology and culture of iron production in Zambia. This paper presents archaeological and archaeometallurgical evidence of a technology of iron production in Chongwe in terms of spatial organization, the process of metal prod...
Article
The cluster of Late Antique glass furnaces in the Hambach Forest in the Rhineland, western Germany, has been advocated by K.H. Wedepohl and G. Hartmann in their influential papers as a potential location for primary glassmaking. Here, we re-evaluate and expand the original chemical data and assumptions underpinning this controversial interpretation...
Article
Full-text available
The paper presents new research on an assemblage of metallurgical crucibles used in the assay of minerals at colonial Jamestown. The aim of the study is to explore the range of chemical operations carried out at the site of the first permanent British settlement in America, for which little is known in the documents. The results show that the colon...
Article
Despite decades of research into faience artefacts in China, many questions remain about how, where and by whom this technology began. This study combines published and new results of chemical analysis, morphology and chronology of the earliest faience beads uncovered from Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi and Shanxi to suggest that at the latest i...
Article
Full-text available
For forty years, there has been a widely held belief that over 2,000 years ago the Chinese Qin developed an advanced chromate conversion coating technology (CCC) to prevent metal corrosion. This belief was based on the detection of chromium traces on the surface of bronze weapons buried with the Chinese Terracotta Army, and the same weapons’ very g...
Article
Full-text available
A detailed understanding of bronze production remains absent in most archaeological contexts, despite the fundamental importance of this alloy. Here, we present a comprehensive discussion of the bronze production remains from Late Phrygian/Achaemenid Gordion: crucibles, moulds and casting waste and their find contexts. A detailed microscopic analys...
Article
Full-text available
Myanmar has been notably underrepresented in recent studies of archaeometallurgy in Southeast Asia, despite its richness in both mineral and cultural resources and its potentially central role in long-distance exchange networks linking India, China and peninsular neighbours. Here, we present original analytical data on copper-base artefacts from se...
Article
Full-text available
In this brief response to Sun et al.’s (2018) comments on our paper, we re‐emphasize that archaeological, chemical and isotopic evidence are all relevant to the discussion about the metal source of the Shang period with highly radiogenic lead isotope ratios. The southern African bronzes have much lower lead contents and quite different lead isotopi...
Article
Full-text available
Bronze is the defining metal of the European Bronze Age and has been at the center of archaeological and science-based research for well over a century. Archaeo-metallurgical studies have largely focused on determining the geological origin of the constituent metals, copper and tin, and their movement from producer to consumer sites. More recently,...
Article
Full-text available
Bronze is the defining metal of the European Bronze Age and has been at the center of archaeological and science-based research for well over a century. Archaeometallurgical studies have largely focused on determining the geological origin of the constituent metals, copper and tin, and their movement from producer to consumer sites. More recently,...
Article
Full-text available
Crucibles to melt glass are very rare in archaeological contexts in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent archaeological excavations at Igbo Olokun, Ile-Ife (Southwest Nigeria) revealed abundant fragments of glass crucibles from 11th-15th century AD deposits, matching the complete and near complete examples earlier reported from Ile-Ife. This paper provides a...
Article
Full-text available
The paper examines diachronically the technological knowledge and the level of copper metallurgy at Kastro Palaia, Volos, in Magnesia, examining various objects with dates from the Early Bronze Age through to the Early Christian era. Of the 70 objects that have been examined so far using pXRF, a small sample was selected for further metallographic...
Article
Full-text available
The origins of the copper, tin and lead for China's rich Bronze Age cultures are a major topic in archaeological research, with significant contributions being made by archaeological fieldwork, archaeometallurgical investigations and geochemical considerations. Here, we investigate a recent claim that the greater part of the Shang-period metalwork...
Article
Full-text available
The site of Igbo Olokun on the northern periphery of Ile-Ife has been recognized as a glass-working workshop for over a century. Its glass-encrusted crucibles and beads were viewed as evidence of secondary processing of imported glass until the high lime, high alumina (HLHA) composition of the glass was recognized as unique to the region. Archaeolo...
Article
Full-text available
Strongly coloured glass vessels decorated with marvered threads of white glass are a wide-spread and popular, but rarely studied group of high-quality glassware of medieval Islamic origin. Relatively little is known about the composition and production places of these vessels, and their chronological range is not very well defined, as many of the p...
Article
The medieval port city of Sīrāf (ca. 800–1050 CE) on the north coast of the Persian/Arabian Gulf linked the core lands of the ‘Abbāsid caliphate with India, China, Africa, and beyond. 101 glass fragments recovered from the 1966–1973 excavations at Sīrāf and now at the Corning Museum of Glass were analysed using LA-ICPMS in order to explore the glas...
Article
The composition and production of pre-modern glazed tiles in Pakistan are not well understood. Here, 38 glazed tile samples sourced from various monuments at Makli Hill and Lahore Fort in Pakistan, dating mainly from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries CE, were investigated with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrome...
Article
Full-text available
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 ‘sla...
Article
Full-text available
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 ‘sla...
Article
Lisht is one of a few New Kingdom sites with known glass-working debris. Here, we present evidence for the primary production of glass at Lisht, including crucible fragments and semi-finished glass. We also provide 12 new chemical analyses of glass from Lisht, including trace elements. We argue that the glass made at Lisht has a specific chemical s...
Article
The trace element boron is present in most ancient glasses as an impurity, and high boron (≥ 300ppm) marks raw material sources that are geologically specific and relatively uncommon. Recent analyses of Byzantine glass with high boron contents suggest that glass-making was not limited to the traditional regions of the Levant and Egypt, and a produc...
Article
Recent excavations at the site of Igbo Olokun in the Yoruba city of Ile-Ife, in south-western Nigeria, have shed light on early glass manufacturing techniques in West Africa. The recovery of glass beads and associated production materials has enabled compositional analysis of the artefacts and preliminary dating of the site, which puts the main tim...
Article
The origin of copper used in Late Bronze Age (LBA) Egypt is very poorly understood despite its cultural and economic importance attested in archaeological and historical sources. Extensive literature discusses major LBA copper sources such as Cyprus (oxhide ingots), Oman (bun ingots) and Egyptian-controlled sites in the Sinai. This paper presents n...
Chapter
Full-text available
They can neither read nor write, and have no books, and all ancient history and other things which they know they learn by tradition from their ancestors (Dos Santos 1964, cited in Mudenge 1988: 1). Abstract For 400 years before the onset of British colonisation, northern Zimbabwe witnessed increased interaction between the locals and several Europ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The study and preservation of cultural heritage is a multidisciplinary field where Materials Science and Corrosion Science have a very significant role to play. This chapter discusses how materials and corrosion scientists can follow a career in cultural heritage. It highlights the particular challenges that these disciplines encounter in the study...
Chapter
Archaeological objects are made of different materials, most of which are susceptible to deterioration. These objects represent the past in more than one way. They are material remains that can provide information about past civilisations and cultures, but they also represent the people who made or commissioned them, the people who used them, as we...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional studies of early bronze metallurgy in China have focused on typology, decoration and production methods. The application of new analytical techniques to investigate chemical composition, however, is offering important new insights. The use of one such method (electron probe microanalysis) to study bronze artefacts from the Hanzhong basi...
Article
Full-text available
We present a detailed description of the layered structure developing in the walls of Egyptian Late Bronze Age glass-making vessels, and in similar vessels successfully replicated in laboratory experiments. The analyses show that this layered discolouration and change in ceramic composition is due to the interaction of the glass batch with the vess...
Article
This paper discusses the emergence of silver metallurgy some two millennia ago in the south central Andes. It is argued that the availability of multiple abundant resources and a high population density were instrumental in the development of this complex technology. The potential for such resource-rich environments to stimulate and sustain innovat...
Article
Full-text available
The oasis of TaymāΜ, located in north-western Arabia, between the Дijāz mountains and the great Nafūd desert, was strategically situated on one of the branches of the main trade routes that connected southern Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea during the first millennium BC. During archaeological excavations at this site — a project carried out by a...
Conference Paper
The Arabian Peninsula has a wide variety of copper ore deposits that are distributed throughout the whole territory, with a particular concentration in the southeastern region, in what is modern day Oman. These resources, exploited since ancient times, are characterised by specific chemical and geological signatures that, when processed, give metal...
Article
Full-text available
Context is everything indeed: a response to Šljivar and Borić - Volume 88 Issue 342 - Miljana Radivojević, Thilo Rehren, Julka Kuzmanović-Cvetković, Marija Jovanović
Article
Tadmekka, a town at the southern edge of the Sahara desert, has produced good evidence for making gold coins in the ninth-tenth century AD, the first concrete proof of coinage in precolonial West Africa These were produced by melting gold dust or nuggets in ceramic moulds, similar to those used for the first pelletlike coinage of the European Iron...
Article
Full-text available
Continued analysis of material – primarily ceramic – excavated during the 1990s at the Predynastic to Early Dynastic cemetery site of Kafr Hassan Dawood (KHD) in the Wadi Tumilat has allowed seven phases of use to be identified. This process has been greatly helped by the acquisition of further archival material of the 1989 to 1995 excavations. The...
Article
Full-text available
Helle bowls are a particular type of late antique glass vessels found exclusively in continental northern Europe, both within and outside the Roman Empire. We analysed about one quarter of all known finds of this type using LA-ICP-MS, and several also using EPMA. The majority of the analysed bowls are made of HIMT glass, with a few consisting of Ro...
Article
Full-text available
A group of finds (vessels, raw glass chunks, window panes) from three sites in present-day Bulgaria was selected as representative of the circulation and usage of glass in the Lower Danube region during the 6th c. AD. In total, 79 samples were analysed by EPMA and/or LA-ICP-MS techniques. The data quality was assessed for each analytical run accord...
Article
Full-text available
Metallurgical crucible remains have been found in many archaeological contexts and in varying degrees of preservation. The reconstruction of metallurgical activity through the study of these remains, by means of microscopy and chemical analysis, is undertaken with the aims of understanding technological choices of ancient craftspeople, their use of...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue honours Richard Klein's outstanding contributions to archaeology through his seminal role as a senior editor for the Journal of Archaeological Science (JAS). The papers presented here assess achievements in archaeological science during the 40 years of research since JAS began, and scope the future within evolutionary and social...