Logo Ancient copper production on Cyprus

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An international team formed around the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA Duebendorf) will concentrate on the following analyses during the coming years:

1. Archaeometallurgical analyses Extensive geochemical and metallurgical analysis of ores, slags, furnace clay and metals will be carried out. Results will be applied to the chronological frame established at Almyras to test the homogeneity of materials and technology involved in the three production phases.

2. Lead isotope analysis Lead isotope analysis on a complete chain of archaeometallurgical remains of copper production on Cyprus will be possible. So far, only the site of Almyras can fulfill these requirements. Results can be compared with the large number of existing lead isotope data .

3. Radiocarbon dating Additional radiocarbon dating of charcoal from Almyras and the sites found during the survey are necessary, although Almyras is already the best radiocarbon dated single site on Cyprus. Because of the re-use of the same working platforms to install copper smelting furnaces in all three periods, an complicated and often inverse stratigraphy has to be dealt with. Each production unit must be dated individually. Many newly found slag concentrations in the Sia Valley need to be radiocarbon dated.

4. Wood species identification Wood species identification of over a thousand charcoal samples will throw light on the vegetation, climate development and deforestation patterns of Cyprus in the first millenium BC.

5. Archaeomagnetics Archaeomagnetic measurements on furnaces in situ will serve to establish a database for future archaeomagnetic dating of fire places, hearths and furnaces of any kind on Cyprus Calibration of archaeomagnetic results can be carried out on the radiocarbon-dated furnaces of the site of Almyras and may be applied to so far undatable units.

6. Experimental archaeology Along with the reconstruction and operation of the furnaces for technological and ergonomic research, cross examination of analytical results from original and experimental products will be carried out.

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Copper metal