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Mining and Metalwork 

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Man using Blow Pipe to Heat Crucible

 

Date: ca. 2477 BC. (5th dynasty)

Place: Tomb of Nykauinpu, Giza, Egypt.

 

Photographed at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Copper Ingot

 

Date: 2nd millennium BC.

Place: Under the sea between Turkey and Cypress

 

Photographed at the Neues Museum, Berlin, Germany.

 

25.67 kg. Typical oxhide shape.

Slag from Metal Refining

 

Date: 600 – 500 BC.

Place: Northern Black Forest, Germany

 

Photographed at the Landesmuseum, Trier, Germany.

Roasted Macedonian Bog Iron Ore

 

Date: Unknown

Place: Macedonia.

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England. 

 

The ore has been broken into small pieces ready to place in the smelting furnace.

Metals at Various Stages of Refining Process

 

From left to right:

 

Nickel rich iron laterites, from the Larymna smelting plant in Boeotia.

 

Slag produced from the smelting of nickel rich iron laterites.

 

Experimental “bloom” produced from smelting Macedonian bog iron ore in a bloomer furnace. Bloom is the impure iron recovered in a solid state from the furnace.

 

Forged bloom or ‘billet’ which has been worked at a smithing hearth

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England.

Mould for Making a Tool

 

Date: 1225 – 1050 BC

Place: Found at Clavdia, Cyprus

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England. 

 

This is one half of a limestone mould for making a metal tool. The pouring cone to the right. The grooves each side of the socket held a pin that both aligned the moulds and also created a hole in the tool’s socket to attach pin to hold the handle firm.

Tongs for Charcoal

 

Date: 400 – 200 BC

Place: Possibly made at Vulci [Italy]

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England. 

 

‘Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.  With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:6-7

Smith’s Tools

 

Details unknown

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England. 

 

The three charcoal shovels have long handles and light blades which would have made them ideal for forge work. The furnace spatulas and tongs would have been used to manage the red-hot charcoal.

Sledge Hammer

 

Details unknown

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England.

 

Sledge hammers like this would have been used to break up the ingots ready for melting.

Part of a Wooden Wheel for Draining a Mine

 

Date: 1st – 2nd century AD.

Place: Rio Tinto Copper Mines, Spain

 

Photographed at the British Museum, London, England.