The context and nature of the evidence for metalworking from mid 4th Millennium Yali (Nissyros)

Maxwell, V., Ellam, R.M. , Skarpelis, N. and Sampson, A. (2019) The context and nature of the evidence for metalworking from mid 4th Millennium Yali (Nissyros). Journal of Greek Archaeology, 4, pp. 1-30. (doi: 10.32028/9781789693775-2)

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Two crucibles with copper adhering (and one lead rivet) have been found on Yali (Nissyros) dating to the Final Neolithic, mid-4th millennium BCE. This is important and rare evidence for the earliest phase of Aegean metallurgy, now recognized as emerging in circumstances of high mobility and variable technological preference and practice. The finds are presented here through a study of their context, typology and chemical and lead isotope analysis. The results show that the crucibles come from the main settlement on the island; they were locally made, using a clay recipe deliberately tailored to the needs of metalworking. The copper was pure, with low levels of naturally occurring arsenic. The copper and lead came from the same source which, on current evidence, appears to be to Kythnos. The community on Yali was in contact with a broader Aegean where multiple metallurgical technologies are known. The presence of tin ore, or its product, might be indicated. Though small in scale, there are some parallels with the nature and technology of metallurgical activities in the succeeding Early Bronze Age.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellam, Professor Rob
Authors: Maxwell, V., Ellam, R.M., Skarpelis, N., and Sampson, A.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of Greek Archaeology
Publisher:Archaeopress Publishing
ISSN (Online):2059-4682
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Archaeopress Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Journal of Greek Archaeology 4:1-30
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher

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