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Arsenical copper tools of Old Kingdom Giza craftsmen: first data

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin OdlerORCiD


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This study deals with the remains of metal objects from the settlement of workers living and labouring at the Egyptian site of Giza in the reigns of Dynasty 4 Kings Khufu and Khafra (c. 2500–2450 BCE). It provides the first detailed set of data on copper tools of the craftspersons working with wood, limestone, textile, etc., focusing on the major and trace element analyses, lead isotopes and microstructural description. Arsenical copper is again confirmed as a material practically used in the Old Kingdom, with arsenopyrite from Eastern Desert proposed as a source of arsenic. The CuAgAs needle 20966 has similar lead isotopes as two pieces of Predynastic Egyptian metalwork and litharge from late Uruk site Habuba Kabira (Syria), being probably a recycled specimen of earlier material connected to silver production. With 15 objects analysed in detail, it is for now the largest Old Kingdom corpus of metal objects from the settlement context.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Odler M, Kmosek J, Fikrle M, Erban Kochergina YV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

Year: 2021

Volume: 36

Print publication date: 01/04/2021

Online publication date: 04/03/2021

Acceptance date: 06/02/2021

ISSN (print): 2352-409X

ISSN (electronic): 2352-4103

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.102868


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