Prestigious metals in elite tombs of the Copper Age and Early Bronze Age

Provenance and metallurgical knowledge

The focus of this dissertation is an interdisciplinary investigation of the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age in northern Anatolia, supported by archaeological and archaeometallurgical sciences. This region connects the east, the Caucasus mountain range (extending, through Georgia, Armenia, Iran and, further south, Mesopotamia), and the west of Anatolia, which ties the Asian continent to South-East Europe. The Pontides, a mountain chain extremely rich in metal deposits, will be the focus of the project.


The beginning of the dissertation will be a description of Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age mining activities in the area of research. Two or three case studies, in places where mining archaeology has found definite traces of early mining, will be used to investigate the exploitation, use and distribution of metals. Existing archaeometric analyses of ores, slags and objects will be evaluated, and if necessary, new analyses will be carried out (trace elements and lead isotope analyses). Some of the interesting points are:

- Which ore deposits were used in the Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age?

- How were early metals distributed?

- What kind of role did they play in the emergence of hierarchical societies, as witnessed by rich graves of the Early Bronze Age such as Alaca Höyük, Horoztepe or Eskiyapar?

Responsible body

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum


Ruhr-Universität Bochum


2011 - 2014


  • Klaunzer, M., 2013. Early Bronze Age Elites and Long Distance Relations. Metalla 20.2, pp. 89-94.