Thilo Rehren Karsten Hess Graham Philip


Among the early silver artefacts known from Egypt and the Near East, there is a large group of objects composed of silver bearing up to 30, even 50 wt% gold. The composition of two fragments from silver artefacts excavated in fourth millennium BC contexts at Tell esh-Shuna in northem Jordan relates them to this auriferous group. A review of traditional ideas conceming early west Asian silver, in the light of recent analytical data from both artefactual and geological sources, indicates that some reconsideration is required. The oft-cited suggestion, initially made by Lucas (1928), that there existed exploitation of silver-dorninated placer deposits in ancient Egypt, seems a less convincing explanation for the compositional pattems detectable in ancient silver artefacts than alternatives such as mixing as a result of recycling.


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How to Cite
Auriferous Silver in Western Asia: Ore or alloy?. (2022). Historical Metallurgy, 30(1), 1-10.