alexa Using X-Ray Fluorescence to Examine Ancient Extractive Metallurgy Practices

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Using X-Ray Fluorescence to Examine Ancient Extractive Metallurgy Practices

The first industrial revolution to appear in the southern Levant (Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, southern Syria and the Sinai Peninsula) occurred during Iron Age (ca. 1200-500 BCE) when large scale copper smelting occurred. The hub of this technological development occurred in the Faynan region of Southern Jordan, which is home to the largest copper ore deposits in the southern Levant. Throughout history, these abundant ores were exploited by local populations with copper production reaching an industrial scale in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE. The evidence for this massive production remains visible on the surface throughout Faynan at ancient smelting sites populated with large heaps of industrial copper slag. Khirbat al-Jariya (KAJ), one such copper smelting center, was the focus of renewed excavations by the Edom Lowlands Regional Archaeology Project in the summer of 2014. In order to investigate the history of metal production at KAJ, a test probe was excavated into one of the site’s slag mounds. The 1×1 meter sounding was excavated to bedrock to provide a complete representation of copper smelting activities during the site’s history (read more..)

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