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A truly refractory crucible from fourth millennium Tepe Hissar, Northeast Iran

Thornton, CP; Rehren, T; (2009) A truly refractory crucible from fourth millennium Tepe Hissar, Northeast Iran. Journal of Archaeological Science , 36 (12) 2700 - 2712. 10.1016/j.jas.2009.08.008. Green open access

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Abstract

From the Early Chalcolithic to the Late Iron Age, melting and smelting crucibles were usually made from non-refractory ceramic fabrics, which required heating of the charge from within the crucible to avoid collapsing the ceramic itself. In this paper, an unusual melting crucible from Northeast Iran, radiocarbon-dated to the Late Chalcolithic (ca. 3600 BCE), will be presented that significantly changes our understanding of the development of technical ceramics in Southwest Asia. This crucible, made of a highly refractory talc-based ceramic held together by an outer layer of traditional non-refractory ceramic, is to our knowledge unprecedented at such an early date. As will be argued, this ancient crucible was heated from the exterior or from below and not from the interior. This method of firing, combined with the highly-specialized construction technique, makes this crucible so far unique in prehistoric metallurgy, and forces us to re-examine traditional models for the development of technical ceramics and metallurgical practices in the Old World. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: A truly refractory crucible from fourth millennium Tepe Hissar, Northeast Iran
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2009.08.008
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2009.08.008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Crucible, Steatite, Arsenical copper, Lead, Chalcolithic, Tepe Hissar, Iran
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/93699
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