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Studies of the Late Bronze Age copper-based ingots found in Greece1

  • Helen Mangou (a1) and Panayiotis V. Ioannou (a2)

Abstract

Seven bun type, one slab type, and 44 oxhide type Late Bronze Age ingots found in the Aegean region, Crete and Mainland Greece have been analysed for their chemical content (twelve elements) by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The results show that the ingots contain variable amounts of oxygen as copper(I) oxide. The oxhide ingots are made of purer copper, the bun type are of relatively pure copper and bronze, while the slab type is bronze. The oxhide ingots from Crete may have a different origin from those found in the Aegean and in Mainland Greece because they have a different chemical composition. The metallographic examination of twenty ingots, three of bun and seventeen of oxhide type, revealed that they have been cast in open moulds, followed by slow cooling. Microanalyses of inclusions in fifteen ingots revealed the presence of copper(I) sulphide, copper(I) oxide, copper-iron and copper-iron-sulphur and their origin is discussed. Hardness measurements on fourteen ingots of various types revealed that they are somewhat harder for a cast object than control alloys and likely explanations are given.

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Studies of the Late Bronze Age copper-based ingots found in Greece1

  • Helen Mangou (a1) and Panayiotis V. Ioannou (a2)

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