The Copper Mines of Nakhchivan: an archaeometallurgical and archaeometric study. (COMINAK Project)

The COMINAK project aims at better understanding the relationship between the copper mines of Nakhchivan and the archaeological settlements where metallurgy is attested during the Chalcolithic Period and the Bronze Age. A large survey of the ore deposits located in eastern Nakhchivan was carried out in 2016, during which 18 deposits could be sampled.

Once these samples have been processed through chemical and lead isotopic analyses, their composition will be compared with the available results obtained in 2014-2016 from the copper ores of central Nakhchivan, as well as a from the artefacts of Ovçular Tepesi, a Chalcolithic village excavated in 2006-2013 in western Nakhchivan. Through the study of the chemical elements and the lead isotopes of copper or polymetallic ores from Eastern Nakhchivan, our hope is to obtain new information on the technical processes used for the crafting of metal objects during the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age, on their provenance and on the organization of ore circulation networks in the Caucasus at large.