Metallurgical production evidence in Castro de Vila Nova de São Pedro (Azambuja,Portugal)

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The Castro de Vila Nova de São Pedro (VNSP) is an emblematic settlement located at Azambuja (Portugal), occupied during the third and second millennia BC, predominantly during the Chalcolithic period. The present study focuses on the chemical and microstructural characterization of selected metallurgical remains from the VNSP collection and aims to contribute to a better comprehension of the copper-based metallurgy on the Portuguese Estremadura. A set of metallurgical production remains (8 crucible and 6 slag fragments and 7 metallic prills) belonging to VNSP were characterized by using different analytical techniques: EDXRF spectrometry, micro-EDXRF spectrometry, optical microscopy and SEMEDS. Preliminary results on the elemental composition of the metallurgical production remains are consistent with copper and arsenical copper artefact production. These results are also in accordance with the artefact collection from VNSP previously studied and mainly composed of copper or arsenical copper (38% of the artefacts are copper alloyed with arsenic - As>2%) with low iron contents. Analyses of the metallic prills and slag residues have provided indications of melting and smelting operations.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium for Arc haeometry
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
PublisherCentre for Archaeological Sciences, KU Leuven
ISBN (Print)978-94-6165-120-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event39 th International Symposium for Arc haeometry -
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …


Conference39 th International Symposium for Arc haeometry
Period1/01/12 → …

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