The reconstruction of the first copper-smelting processes in Europe during the 4th and the 3rd millennium BC: where does the oxygen come from? - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Applied Physics A Year : 2010

The reconstruction of the first copper-smelting processes in Europe during the 4th and the 3rd millennium BC: where does the oxygen come from?

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Abstract

From the end of Chalcolithic times (end of the 4th millennium BC) up to the end of the Bronze Age (1st millenium BC), copper production increases dramatically in Western Europe. However, due to the scarcity of technology-related archaeological data, the technological background sustaining the transition to mass production modes remains poorly understood. The main archaeological clues concerning metal production stem from the metallurgical waste, namely copper slags. Those complex materials may be a genuine chemical footprint of the process. In particular, it may bring new insights on one main issue of the process reconstruction: the origin of the oxygen in the system. A new analytical methodology based on both mass-balance calculation and quantification of Fe3+ contents in copper slags (Mössbauer spectroscopy, electronic microprobe and Synchrotron μ-XANES at the Fe-K-edge) has been set up. This methodology enables us to distinguish between the solid and gaseous sources of oxygen in a broad range of working conditions, thus yielding new features for the understanding of the first smelting processes dealing with copper sulphides in Western Europe 4000 years ago.

Dates and versions

insu-03605293 , version 1 (11-03-2022)

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E. Burger, D. Bourgarit, A. Wattiaux, M. Fialin. The reconstruction of the first copper-smelting processes in Europe during the 4th and the 3rd millennium BC: where does the oxygen come from?. Applied Physics A, 2010, 100, pp.713-724. ⟨10.1007/s00339-010-5651-y⟩. ⟨insu-03605293⟩
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