Investigation of Ancient Metal
Investigation of Eastern Europe Ancient Metal by Using of Physics and Material Science Methods
Tech Area / Field
3 Approved without Funding
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov
- Nizhni Novgorod State University name after N.I. Lobachevsky, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod\nInstitute of Archaeology, Russia, Moscow
- Institute of History, Spain, Madrid\nWellesley College, USA, MA, Wellesley
Project summaryIt is in essence the discovery of the metal that the modern type civilization history begins with. For this reason so important for the history-and-archaeology science is the comprehensive study of the metal and metalworking technology. This effort is most motivated for Russia, where the insufficient financing of the humanitarian studies has suspended many promising R&D areas, and the bulk of Russia’s world-class ancient monuments have not been adequately studied up to now. In view of this it would be extremely reasonable to employ the high scientific potential and equipment of Russian weapons research institutes, including (and primarily) RFNC-VNIIEF, for research into the archaeology monuments.
The ancient metal has been studied with chemical, physical and material science methods for a long time in archeological laboratories of different countries. The goal of the principal areas in this research is studying both copper and bronze chemical composition and technology for dressing various items. In its turn, revealing copper and bronze chemical composition pursues the dual objective:
– purely technological aspect of the problem: determination of copper alloy (bronze) nature;
– determination of copper and bronze ore sources on the basis of a characteristic set of copper impurities.
Historically and archeologically, the ancient metal study within the Project can be pided into two areas. The first of them is research into the Bronze Age ancient monuments of Eastern Europe (primarily of the Volga-Urals region). The second area is investigation into the later metal of the Middle Ages of the Volga-river region as well.
It is suggested that samples of metal (copper and bronzes) from various Bronze Age monuments of Eastern Europe (primarily from the Volga-Urals region) should be analyzed. Also, metal samples taken from the archeological monuments of the Middle Ages will be studied, in particular, nonferrous metal items, foundry wastes, billets, and half-finished products. All analytical work will be conducted by RFNC-VNIIEF physics and material science laboratories.
The statistical processing of the results of all kinds of physics and material science analyses will allow:
– separation of principal groups of alloys used, determination of their composition;
– determination of ore raw material sources for metallurgy and jewelry industries;
– tracking and chronologization of changes within principal alloy types of a given region through different-time item analysis;
– revealing characteristic microimpurities, their changes in the historical prospect;
– determination of the metallurgy industry and metalworking technology and evolution;
– revealing trade-exchange and political relations in wide chronological ranges in Eastern Europe, inter ethnic relation and migration paths.
The Project will provide a basis for basic specification of the pattern giving an idea of the history of the ancient mining and metallurgy technology incipience and evolution in Eastern Europe.