The town of Sumhuram was founded by the South Arabian Kingdom of Hadramawt ca. the end of the 3rd century BCE. Strategically located on the coast of what is now Dhofar in the Southwestern Sultanate of Oman, for several hundred years it controlled the trade route connecting Arabia with India on one side and with the Mediterranean, via the Red Sea, on the other. There is abundant archaeological evidence that copper/bronze items were produced at the site. To shed light on the metallurgical technologies and alloys used, the composition and microstructure of 29 metal items dating between the late 3rd century BCE and the late 4th century CE were investigated by means of SEM-EDS and Optical Microscopy. These investigations are discussed alongside other data previously collected from the site. The results indicate the general use of alloys with a high Pb content, and the apparent absence of a correlation between the objects’ shape/function and their composition. No diachronic evolution is evident in the metallurgical procedures. Comparable results are rare in the literature; our hope is that this work will stimulate further investigation in the metallurgy of the area, which could either supply coherent evidence or firmly contradict it.

BRONZE WORKING AT SUMHURAM: NEW DATA FROM AN ANCIENT SOUTH ARABIAN HARBOR ON THE COAST OF DHOFAR (SULTANATE OF OMAN)

Carla Martini;Cristina Chiavari;Elena Bernardi;
2018

Abstract

The town of Sumhuram was founded by the South Arabian Kingdom of Hadramawt ca. the end of the 3rd century BCE. Strategically located on the coast of what is now Dhofar in the Southwestern Sultanate of Oman, for several hundred years it controlled the trade route connecting Arabia with India on one side and with the Mediterranean, via the Red Sea, on the other. There is abundant archaeological evidence that copper/bronze items were produced at the site. To shed light on the metallurgical technologies and alloys used, the composition and microstructure of 29 metal items dating between the late 3rd century BCE and the late 4th century CE were investigated by means of SEM-EDS and Optical Microscopy. These investigations are discussed alongside other data previously collected from the site. The results indicate the general use of alloys with a high Pb content, and the apparent absence of a correlation between the objects’ shape/function and their composition. No diachronic evolution is evident in the metallurgical procedures. Comparable results are rare in the literature; our hope is that this work will stimulate further investigation in the metallurgy of the area, which could either supply coherent evidence or firmly contradict it.
MINING FOR ANCIENT COPPER Essays in Memory of Beno Rothenberg
539
555
Michele Degli Esposti, Carla Martini, Cristina Chiavari, Elena Bernardi, Gian Luca Garagnani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/649182
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