Cyprus Project Notice - Depicting The Extraction Of Cadmea And Different Mineral “Earths” In Ancient Metallurgy

Project Notice

PNR 62446
Project Name Depicting the extraction of cadmea and different mineral “earths” in ancient metallurgy
Project Detail Brass, a copper-ziBrass, a copper-zinc alloy, is a major alloy from Roman period and throughout the Middle Ages and early modern period. Despite its importance, relatively little systematic research has been done on its production, and archaeological evidence is less well documented than that for copper and iron smelting. One reason for this is the unassuming nature of most zinc ores and zinc-rich furnace remains, compared to the more easily identified copper or iron slags. DE CADMEA aims first to develop a systematic overview of zinc-rich materials, and related furnace remains from one of Europes best-studied medieval mining and metallurgical regions, the Harz Mountains, before applying the experience gained onto another important mining region, Cyprus. Little is known about the exploitation of zinc in Cyprus, despite detailed and consistent references in key classical texts to the exploitation of earthy substances, described in a way that makes their identification as zinc/brass raw material highly likely, and several indications for zinc-rich smelting remains in the analytical literature. In collaboration with local archaeologists and geologists, the PF will systematically search for evidence for zinc-related metallurgy, broadening the current near-exclusive focus on copper metallurgy in Cyprus. DE CADMEA is an ambitious project producing an up-to-date review paper on historic brass raw materials and production technology, and potentially unravelling a totally new chapter in the metallurgy of Cyprus. The proposal also offers insight into the exploitation of non-standard earthy compounds that may be connected with other types of early metallurgy, such as the silver one. The fellowship is sided with two secondments: the Department of Mining Archaeology in Goslar, for the study of the mining district of Rammelsberg in Germany, and the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum (DBM) which will support the research with the archaeometric characterizations and interpretation.
Funded By European Union (EU)
Sector BPO
Country Cyprus , Southern Europe
Project Value CYP 164,328

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