I'd be interested to know if this has been done in practice? I mean what was
the yield? What exactly did it look like?
I'm on a little bit of a buzz right now, I've just come in from melting my
first copper and if I had actually made a decent mould I would now be
holding my first copper axe!
The heat is so unbelievable, I put the crucible down on the patio concrete,
and it literally burnt a hole! I put a iron poker in the furnace and when I
took it out it started burning like a sparkler on bonfire night.
I was concentrating so hard as I took it out, that I didn't realise how hot
it was until I realised my gloves were near burning just from the radiated
Brass is even more spectacular because as the lid is pulled off the
crucible, it starts burning with an intense eerie glow (presumably the zinc
oxidising), it is bum-sucking scary enough when you know what is happening,
but what on earth brass-age man ever thought about - to say nothing of
brass-age woman looking on. What scares me even more is the thought of using
a home made crucible, or trying to pull out a crucible without iron tongs to
And ... there's not a single time when the furnace has not disintegrated to
some extent, every time a few bits fall off, sometimes just the odd chuck,
sometimes a whole side. The original furnace is now so encased with repairs
that it can't be seen.
And one last thing, if anyone spots funny holes in bits of wood - they are
iron-age kids who insist on putting the poker in one more time to see what
happens when hot metal comes in contact with wood.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Peter Wardle
> Sent: 01 September 2007 13:11
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Source of Copper Ore
> The easiest way to smelt copper is to actually burn plants and
> wood which grow above a copper deposit.
> Light the fire and bingo a lump of copper a few hours later.
> Peter Wardle
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Michael Haseler <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Thursday, 30 August, 2007 5:33:18 PM
> Subject: [BRITARCH] Source of Copper Ore
> This summer I finally got around to building my own furnace and had a very
> enjoyable couple of days producing tin ornaments for kids.
> Unfortunately, I've now been caught with the bug, and having successfully
> melting aluminium and accidentally some iron I would really like to see
> whether I could smelt some ore.
> Having tried several times to "authentically" find the copper
> mines that are
> supposed to be in lowland Scotland, I've given up on the idea of
> being able
> to just pick up copper ore, so if anyone could tell me where to buy it I
> would be grateful.
> I'd also be interested in sources of tin, iron and lead ore.
> PS. Which all begs the question: if I, with a geological map, a
> book on the
> geology of Scotland, and a car to travel can't find copper ore,
> how on earth
> did bronze age man?