Klein, S. & Hauptmann, A., Iron Age Leaded Tin Bronzes from Khirbet edh-Dharih, Jordan. J. Archaeological Science 26, 1999, 1075-1082
Von: Arch-Metals Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Adi Behar
Gesendet: Dienstag, 7. November 2006 12:45
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Lead production in the Roman period
Thank you very much for your input, and sorry for my late response.
We examined the soil within and out of the installation and analyzed their metal content, especially copper and lead. I also analyzed the residue found (what i called slag) by both XRF and SEM, and from the results i got i concluded the same as you suggest; that it relates to melting of leaded bronze.
i designated it as slag since it is mostly glassy matrix enriched with Ca and Pb, in which copper/bronze drops are embedded/trapped.The lead is only confined to the glass matrix. On the bottom side of it (it is flat on one side) it is very enriched with quartz, Ca and clay which seemed to undergone thermal alterations. Will that not be sufficient to designate it as slag?
I don't think we are dealing with smelting industry, and we also ruled out the option of glazes since no evidence for glazed pottery during this period in Dor except one or two imported cases.
I was also thinking about the possibility of other technologies, maybe glass? Therefore i am interested to compare the installation structure to other known examples.
Could you refer me to other examples known to be used for the production of leaded bronze?
Looking forward your comments,
Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science Weizmann Institute of Science
>>> Peter Northover <[log in to unmask]> 10/26/2006
6:25 PM >>>
A problem with relating furnace remains to some metallurgical uses, particularly the melting of non-ferrous alloys in crucibles, is that they can leave very little archaeological trace. Heavy metal contamination is one possible trace; it is worth looking at the soil around the structure as well as the structure itself. If you have residues (slag is not really the right word) containing copper tin and
lead then the melting of leaded bronze is a very possible process for the area, and one which is likely to lead to contamination with lead.
It is also possible that non-metallurgical processes could be involved.
An excavation of cess pits draining Oxford University's first chemistry
laboratory, which flourished at the end of the 17th century, gave readings up to 5% lead in the contents of the pits. The oriign was probably experiments with lead glazes for the ceramic industry with which the then professor had connections.
It certainly does not appear that you have an extractive industry.
Dr Peter Northover,
Materials Science-Based Archaeology Group, Department of Materials, University of Oxford Tel +44 (0)1865 283721; Fax +44 (0)1865 841943 Mobile +44 (0)7785
e-mail [log in to unmask]