On the archaeometallurgy of the southern Levant and Egypt

On the archaeometallurgy of the southern Levant and Egypt

For decades the DBM carried out research in southern Jordan and in Israel, on technological and cultural developments in mining and smelting. The studies in the ore districts of Faynan and Timna concentrated on aspects of early copper extraction. Provenance studies made it possible to find the markets and thus trace the trade in copper from this region. At present this research is being continued in a series of studies, and is dependent on the artefacts which are gradually becoming available. One of the biggest projects is:

Archaeometallurgy in Sinai and Egypt

The significance of the ore districts of Faynan and Timna must have been huge in the period from the 5th to the 3rd millennium BC. There is evidence that ores (and metal?) were exported to the region of the southern Levant (now Aqaba), and possibly as far as the Nile Delta and Mesopotamia. The plan is to carry out geochemical-isotopic provenance studies and research on technology to establish whether the trade really extended this far. The studies cover the ore deposits on the one hand, and on the other hand metal finds from two Chalcolithic settlements near Aqaba (Tall Magass, Tall Hujayrat al-Ghuzlan), and from find sites in Sinai and in the eastern desert of Egypt.

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hauptmann

Responsible body

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum


  • Hauptmann, A., The Archaeometallurgy of Copper. Evidence from Faynan, Jordan. Natural Science in Archaeology series. Springer Heidelberg-New York
  • Hauptmann, A., Schmitt-Strecker, S. & Begemann, F., 2012, Kfar Monash – a chemical and lead isotopic study into the provenance of its copper. Paléorient 37,2, 65-78.
  • Abdel-Motelib, A., Bode, M., Hartmann, R., Hartung, U., Hauptmann, A. & Pfeiffer, K., 2012, Archaeometallurgical expeditions to the Sinai Peninsula and the Eastern Desert of Egypt (2006, 2008). Metalla 19.1/2, 3-59.