Ende 2013 ist Journal 20.2 der Zeitschrift METALLA erschienen. Die Leserschaft erwartet wie üblich ein Portfolio an vielfältigen Beiträgen und Themen.
Access to raw materials was as important of an issue in the past as it is today. Control of access to raw materials and the organization of production are deeply imbedded in the political organization, culture and technology of every society. Particularly potent for the archaeologist, the study of material culture in the form of raw materials and their products helps us to understand aspects of political hierarchy, social equality, cultural interaction and technological development. In this session three case studies will be presented discussing political, cultural and technological issues concerning the procurement and use of raw materials. Concepts of standardization, centralization, and scale of production are useful tools to relate raw materials and their products to larger, overarching questions concerning the organization of ancient societies.
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- Hande Özyarkent: Animal Herder-Miners of the Andronovo Culture, pp. 8-16
- The Central Asian Middle Bronze Age culture Andronovo is known to researchers as one of the strong candidates of possible tin suppliers for Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilizations. From the Ural to Yenisey, the culture’s area covers millions of square kilometres. It stretches between different climatic zones; including forest steppes, grass
steppes, mountainous areas, dry steppes and it is even proximate to deserts. Ruins of the Andronovo groups are frequently presented all over this region with a mobile character and strong evidences that they were dealing with metallurgical activities. (Boroffka et al. 2002). Chernykh describes this time period as “the second phase of Eurasian Metallurgical Province” (2008, pp.87-88), which he underlines as “the stabilization of the system”. He interprets this development also as a factor for unification of the major cultural features; ceramic tradition, mortuary practices, and the spread of bronze products produced with tin and their appearance in the neighbouring regions. Animal husbandry played a vital role in this dynamic environment, enabling a mobile lifestyle. Today we know from several mining regions, that the exploitation was going hand in hand with the pastoral practices. Therefore it is vital to understand the herd management and subsistence strategy of the populations to see the picture of land use and its relation with exploitation of metals and pastoral movement of groups.
- Carlos Martín Hernández: Phoenician trade of raw materials and changes in metal production patterns in SW iberia during the orientalizing period, pp. 17-25
- In the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula resides one of the largest concentrations of massive sulfides in the earth’s surface (Tornos, 2008, p.13), the Iberian Pyrite Belt. It began to be mined more than 5000 years ago as confirmed in the analysis of 14C AMS in the earliest copper production site known until now as Cabezo Juré (Nocete, et al., 2011, p.3281) and as shown in the analysis of metal contamination in post-Flandrian sediments deposited at the bottom of the marsh of Doñana (Carretero, et al., 2011, pp.1215-1223). There is also abundant archaeometallurgical evidence suggesting that mining continued even after the Orientalizing and Roman Periods, principally for copper, gold and silver from the gossan caps and underlying supergene enrichment zones of exposed ore bodies (Rothenberg and Blanco, 1981; Salkield, 1987; Pérez Macias, 1996). And the archaeological record leaves no doubt that the metallurgical richness of this area was what attracted the attention of traders around the Mediterranean, especially the Phoenicians in the middle of the first millennium BC. (González de Canales, et al., 2004).
- Lena Asrih:
Analysis of the Medieval Development of Mining Laws and Settlements in the Saxon Ore Mountains, pp. 28-29
- The PhD project “Analysis of the medieval development of mining laws and settlements in the Saxon Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge/Germany)” (working title) is based in historical sciences and therefore will examine the written sources of the first mining phase in the aforesaid area and combine them partly with archaeological results. The Ore Mountains build a natural border between Germany and the Czech Republic. On the German side, the Saxon Ore Mountains, mining is supposed to has started in the 12th century. In this case, the results of the archaeological and historical research are fitting together. The first findings of silver ore, near today’s Freiberg, were dated about 1168 by means of written sources (Herrmann, 1953, p.13).1 Archaeological research has been intensified since relicts of 12th
century mining were detected underneath the city of Dippoldiswalde, close to Freiberg. Current projects are engaged in dating mining traces and getting new results on the extent and character of medieval mining on the German and Czech side of the Ore Mountains.
- Vasiliki Kassianidou: Mining Landscapes of Prehistoric Cyprus, pp. 36-45
- Cyprus, the most eastern island of the Mediterranean became synonymous with copper in Late Antiquity: the Latin word Cuprum derives from Aes Cyprium, Cypriot copper, the term Pliny used in his book Natural History (HN XXXIV.2–4) to describe the pure metal rather than one of its alloys (Rickard, 1930, p.285). This is because Cyprus was one of the main sources for metal for the Old World since the Second millennium BC. This is of course a result of the island’s geology and mineral wealth.
- Anita Feichter-Haid, Thomas Koch Waldner,Anja Masur & Barbara Viehweider: The Prehistoric and Historic Mining District in the Region of Kitzbühel (Tyrol, Austria): an Interdisciplinary Approach to Reconstruct the Past, pp. 46-57
- Bronze Age and modern mining activities played a significant role in shaping the Tyrolean landscape. The well-known mining regions of Kitzbühel and Schwaz had an important impact on the Alpine cultures, economy and environment. The large amount of copper ore in the Kitzbühel area caused many people to immigrate which lead to the development of mining communities. Initially the discovery of silver ore deposits resulted in a flourishing mining industry in the Early Modern Times. Starting from the 17th century AD, the copper production had been the reason for ongoing mining activities. An interdisciplinary approach encompassing a comprehensive database, obtained from archaeological, historical and palaeological results will allow an integrated view of the mining landscape on Kitzbühel. This will elucidate crucial objectives of this joint DOCteam research project, which is supported by the Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW).
- Ingolf Löffler: Standardization, Centralization and Scale: Focus on Faynan – Characteristics and Key Features for Economic and Organizational Growth
(Download PDF), pp. 60-67
- This research on the development of historical and technical innovations in mining and the associated social aspects in the Faynan district is based on archaeological investigation and archaeometallurgical studies in copper metallurgy (Hauptmann, 2007). Both analytical researches will answer questions concerning the factors influencing the development and innovation of extractive metallurgy at the Faynan mining district in context with the economy, spatial distribution and settlement progression not only in single utilization phases. The settlement pattern and archaeometallurgical installations in this district are unique because the ancient mining sites managed to survive and were not impacted by more recent mining activities. The metallurgical remains include furnace fragments, crucible
fragments, casting moulds, prills and lumps of copper, ingots, copper tools, slag, ores and mining tools. The copper district of Faynan is situated 80 km south of the Dead Sea (Fig. 1), halfway between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea, west of the Jordanian Plateau. The ancient ore district (Fig. 2) is one of the largest copper producers in the Southern Levant. Its long lasting exploitation has spanned from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic-A (Finlayson and Mithen, 2007) until the Islamic period.
- Patrick Könemann: Political and Cultural Approaches for the Procurement and Use of Raw Materials Concerning Germanic Groups, pp. 68-74
- When it comes to Germanic peoples we are dealing with societies, who did not exploit non-ferrous metal resources on their own, although evidence suggests that mining took place maybe in the area of Brilon in the 1st century AD (Bode, 2008; Melzer and Capelle, 2007; Pfeffer, 2012, pp.155-164) and since the 3rd century AD at Düna (Brockner and Klappauf, 1993), close to the Harz Mountain. These possible exploitation attempts could not be confirmed for sure yet. It is rather proven that Germanic production of nonferrous metal objects was based on the recycling of Roman metal imports. As a consequence the Roman metal items cannot be considered as just objects of
prestige or daily use, but also as raw material for the production of native goods. Because of these reasons Germanic societies depended on the influx of metal goods from the Roman Empire. This paper shall deal with matters of acquiring Roman imports with special respect on the question of the level of political determined import streams.
Furthermore it shall be discussed who had access to Roman metal imports in Germanic societies and therefore had direct access to copper alloy raw materials. It also has to be considered how large the demand on copper alloy objects was and therefore how huge the dependence on the Roman Empire was.
- Stephen Merkel: The Relationship of Hacksilver and Minting in 10th Century Southern Scandinavia, pp. 75-79
- The subject of this paper is the monetization in the Viking age with a focus on political and economic centralization. Hacksilver is a term for silver which has been fragmented or physically altered with disregard to its original form or function and is a development that is connected to the trading of metal by weight. Hacksilver is a specially defined term, but in the functioning of a truly weight-based economy, whether an object was cut or not played no role. Objects could be cut, in the case of hacksilver, or remain whole; it is clear that the shape the silver took was not as significant as the purity and substance. Coins, on the other hand, have a standard range of forms, but the purity and weight can vary depending on the accepted minting practices. In a monetized economy the valuation of coins and other forms of silver are differentiated, and a shift from a weight-based economy to a coinbased economy came with changing ideas concerning the use of silver. How and when the monetization of Scandinavia occurred is an often debated subject. Coin use certainly predated widespread minting, but it is unclear whether these foreign issued coins were perceived as coins in the modern sense, such as having an accepted value that is not necessarily dependent on the material value. Coins of all origins might have been weighed with the aid of a scale, counted in pieces, or alternatively, its value could have been estimated through experience.
- Florian Téreygeol: How to Quantify Medieval Silver Production at Melle?, pp. 80-86
- The question of quantification of the production of ancient silver mines is essential for the economic history.
Usually, if a quantification of production can be proposed, it is based on written sources, and is therefore limited to the accuracy, authenticity and frame of reference of the used source. How is it possible to make the balance between an often static quantitative date and the frequently multi-year chronological series obtainable thanks to archaeological research? The field of archaeometry, when focused on the origin of materials, helps to restore commercial networks but remains incapable to characterize the intensity of flows. But if only archaeological sources would be available, the problem would in no way be easier. Fieldwork obviously brings to light the systems of production, the used structures and allows chronological fine-tuning with regard to the written sources. Naturally, silver, the final and desired product, is not there anymore. Worse, the slags connected to its production very often disappear through reworking, obliterating the possibility of quantification as it is known within the framework of iron production. Then there is the mine, a original place where the desired wealth could be found. To go forward this way, we must work on preserved mining networks, and it is better if there is no later exploitation. The site of Melle presents several advantages which help pave the way to an attempt of quantification of its production. The mine is partially accessible and has remained undisturbed since the abandoment of mining activities around 1000 AD. The presence of a mint which produced a coinage bearing the name of Melle facilitates the work of connecting the ore to the finished object. Finally, the chemical signature of the ore allows the integration of the archaeological data and the numismatics with those resulting from the analysis (Téreygeol, et al., 2005). To quantify the production of Melle, first the importance of the mine and the nature of the exploited ore must be emphasized. The knowledge of the system of production of the ore to the silver provides useful information towards this purpose. It is only at this stage that we can work towards an assessment of silver production. Then,to combine the production chain with the knowledge of the environmental conditions a a long-term chronological sequence of silver production can be
- Michael Klaunzer: Early Bronze Age Elites and Long Distance Relations, pp. 89-94
- In my paper I focus on Early Bronze Age, on particular, based on our understanding “rich” or “extraordinary” burials, (metal) artefacts and cultural contacts in Central-North Anatolia and beyond. The examination of graves and hoards containing outstanding objects of the 3rd Millennium BC (e.g. Troy, Alacahöyük, Horoztepe, Arslantepe) serves as a
mirror to the development and complexity of societies during this time. It appears as if there was the need for exceptional grave forms, exotic grave goods and extravagant rituals in the urbanized and also centralized regions in EBA Anatolia1. But what we definitively see is that rare forms and precious materials in these tombs and deposits can be seen as indicators for long distance relations and intense communication. In Neolithic and Chalcolithic it is more difficult to trace the changing of organizational structures, there are less arguments pointing to a more complex society, at least according to the current state of research. Generally, graves reveal information on these issues.
However, there are only a few excavated graveyards or single burials belonging to these earlier periods, therefore only limited statements on stratification of society can be made. Most of the discovered burials dating to the (late) 4th Millennium were intramural, i.e. in the settlements, for example Alişar Höyük (Özgüç, 1948, pp.10-11, 60-61). Mostly these are infant burials under the floors of houses, whereas adult burials are extremely rare and contain generally few grave goods. The general picture of early graves in Chalcolithic Anatolia shows jar burials containing mostly children and simple earthen pits with adult bodies in flexed position (Welton, 2010, pp.116-123). In fact we do not know where and how the majority of the population were buried in these times. Nevertheless, the end of Chalcolithic and especially the Early Bronze Age are characterized by a shift in traditions and we recognize significant changes concerning the socio-cultural, economic and technological situations (Yener, 2000, pp.44-70; Cevik, 2007, p.137). These changes are often, at least for South-East-Anatolia, marked by bigger, often fortified settlements and monumental buildings (Yener, 2000, pp.67-70). Arslantepe/Malatya is one of the examples for an early urbanised settlement (Yener, 2000, pp.48-57). Regarding burial customs we see the shift from intramural burials to more extensive, extramural cemeteries (Welton, 2010, p.124). Moreover we observe an intensification of mining activities. Early copper exploitation is documented, for example in mining areas of Kozlu/Tokat (Wagner and Öztunalı, 2000, p.49), Murgul/Artvin (Wagner, et al., 1989, pp.653-658; Wagner and Öztunalı, 2000, p.46)
and Derekutuğun/Çorum (Wagner and Öztunalı, 2000, p.50; Yalçın and İpek, 2011; Yalçın and İpek, 2012). Also
for early silver production e.g. the lead-silver-deposits of the Central Taurus Mountains, Bolkardağ District, S-E-Anatolia (Yener, 1983, pp.8-9; Yener and Özbal, 1986, pp.314-318), are important. In the following, I will discuss the distribution of precious objects that describes cultural contacts in general but also the development and overtaking of ideas, concepts and a thinking that spread all over the Ancient Near East in the 3rd Millennium BC.
- Arne Windler: From the Aegean Sea to the Parisian Basin. How Spondylus can Rearrange our View on Trade and Exchange, pp. 95-106
- Communication can be seen as an inherent part of every economic system: It is not only necessary for the allocation of scarce resources, but also for the achievement of the economic objectives (Rössler, 2005, p.16). Furthermore communication is a mandatory precondition for every exchange; even the daily shopping is a transfer of information about price and quantity of a commodity via price labels. However, it is possible to transfer the own purposes and intentions in an exchange situation by either negotiating a successful contract or allowing the exchange to fail (Schmid, 2004), or as Claude Lévi-Strauss (1969, p.67) points out: “Exchanges are peacefully resolved wars, and wars are the result of unsuccessful transactions.” If there is the possibility to determine the provenance of an artefact or its material, acts of exchange and communication become visible in the archaeological sources. Provenance studies all by themselves are not able to give any evidence of different modes of exchange, though. For a further discussion of the transfer of artefacts, it is essential to have a closer look at different theories deduced from economics, anthropology and sociology. Afterwards some of these theories are applied to the Spondylus gaederopus exchange during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic.
- Oliver Nakoinz: Spatial Models of Interaction and Economic Archaeology, pp. 107-115
- Interaction is the main driver of historical, cultural, social and economical processes. If people would not interact, there would not be any social or economical practise, no cultural formation and no mentionable history to describe. Interaction is a very abstract concept which is involved in the interpretation of many phenomena and allows a unified approach. It covers for example trade, travelling craftsmen, social relations, war and knowledge transfer. The high degree of generalisation in the concept of interaction provides us with the opportunity to access interdisciplinary
knowledge. In archaeology there are still very few contributions to a generalised concept of interaction on the one hand while on the other hand archaeologists very frequently deal with variants of interaction. Some examples from other disciplines show the nature, potential and heterogeneity of interaction models.