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Development of metallurgy in Eurasia

  • Benjamin W. Roberts (a1), Christopher P. Thornton (a2) and Vincent C. Pigott (a3)

The authors reconsider the origins of metallurgy in the Old World and offer us a new model in which metallurgy began in c. eleventh/ninth millennium BC in Southwest Asia due to a desire to adorn the human body in life and death using colourful ores and naturally-occurring metals. In the early sixth millennium BC the techniques of smelting were developed to produce lead, copper, copper alloys and eventually silver. The authors come down firmly on the side of single invention, seeing the subsequent cultural transmission of the technology as led by groups of metalworkers following in the wake of exotic objects in metal.

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