Out of the Fiery Crucible: Egyptian Old Kingdom metallurgy

Authors

  • Christopher J. Davey Australian Institute of Archaeology Author

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.62614/wmj1b145

Keywords:

Old Kingdom Egypt, mining and metallurgy, Pyramid Age metalworking, crucibles, arsenical copper, tomb decoration

Abstract

The evidence for Egyptian Old Kingdom metalworking is reviewed drawing upon archaeology, iconography, metallurgy, history, scientific data and process replication. The charateristics of arsenical copper is considered concluding that Old Kingdom copper ore was initially obtained from the southern Eastern Desert of Egypt where Pre- and Early Dynastic mines are to be found and where there may have been mining and metallurgical expertise amongst the regional nomadic people or further south in Africa. Chaîne opératoires are proposed for the fabrication of prestige copper vessels and for the production copper tools.

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Published

26-03-2024

Issue

Section

Papers

How to Cite

Davey, Christopher J. 2024. “Out of the Fiery Crucible: Egyptian Old Kingdom Metallurgy”. Buried History: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Archaeology 59 (March): 11–28. https://doi.org/10.62614/wmj1b145.