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The main changes are in the chapters describing the early development of metallurgy in which there has been so much recent research; the later, post-Roman chapters have been revised to take account of new discoveries from excavations. The volume is extensively illustrated as before and is now issued in a hard cover. The Full Bronze Age.

Pages: 24— Pages: 47— Pages: 62— Pages: 83— Pages: 96— Pages: — Biographical Note Alan R. He has published extensively on the metallurgy of swords and armour and is the author of The Knight and the Blast Furnace The Extraction of the First Metals.


  • Metallurgy likely has more than one birthplace;
  • John Ellis Jones.
  • Publications on history of mining and metallurgy.

The Smelting of Iron and the Production of Steel. Celtic and Roman Swords. When it cools, it is found to have solidified in a new shape. And the magic of fire has yet more to offer.

A History of Metallurgy

Certain kinds of bright blue or green stones are attractive enough to collect for their own sake. It turns out that when such stones are heated to a high temperature, liquid metal flows from them. They are azurite and malachite, two of the ores of copper. The use of fire thus makes possible two significant new steps in the development of metallurgy: the casting of metal, by pouring it into prepared moulds; and the smelting of mineral ores to extract metal.

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Objects made from smelted copper, from as early as BC, are known in Iran. Many mineral ores are found on the surface of the earth, in outcrops of rock. Chipping away at them, to pursue the metal-bearing lode down below the surface, leads inevitably to another technological advance - the development of mining. By BC deep shafts are cut into the hillside at Rudna Glava, in the Balkans, to excavate copper ore.

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This robbing of the earth's treasures is carried out with due solemnity. Fine pots, bearing produce from the daylight world, are placed in the mines as a form of recompense to propitiate the spirits of the dark interior of the earth.

10.1 Copper - First Metal in Ancient Times

By about BC copper mines are also worked in the Sinai peninsula. Crucibles found at the site reveal that smelting is carried out as part of the mining process.

Sometimes the ores of copper and tin are found together, and the casting of metal from such natural alloys may have provided the accident for the next step forward in metallurgy. It is discovered that these two metals, cast as one substance, are harder than either metal on its own. The cast alloy of copper and tin is bronze, a substance so useful to human beings that an entire period of early civilization has become known as the Bronze Age.

A bronze blade will take a sharper edge than copper and will hold it longer.

Divine gold and lethal iron: the Eurasian history of metallurgy terms | Gerd Carling

And bronze ornaments and vessels can be cast for a wide variety of purposes. The technology of bronze is first developed in the Middle East. It then spreads spasmodically. It appears in the Indus valley in about BC, and progresses westwards through Europe from about At much the same time it is found in crude form in China, where it later achieves an unprecedented level of sophistication.

From about BC the Shang dynasty produces bronze objects of exceptional brilliance.