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The Smelting of Sulfide Ores of Copper in Preconquest Peru

  • Earle R. Caley (a1) and Dudley T. Easby (a2)

Abstract

Doubts that the Peruvian Indians could smelt copper ores in pre-Columbian times are unjustified, although archaeological evidence for the very effective wind furnaces described by early chroniclers is scanty. Oxide and carbonate ores from shallow deposits are more simply smelted than the sulfide ores, which required roasting of the crushed ore prior to reduction at a higher temperature. New evidence for the smelting of sulfide ore comes from chemical analysis of an ingot from the Province of lea, and suggests the need for restudy of older analyses and a search for new prehistoric metallurgical evidence.

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The Smelting of Sulfide Ores of Copper in Preconquest Peru

  • Earle R. Caley (a1) and Dudley T. Easby (a2)

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