By R.D. Penhallurick
Tin in Antiquity is the 1st accomplished historical past of the early metallurgy of tin, a mine of knowledge in this infrequent, hugely prized steel so very important to the constructing civilization of the Bronze Age. The origins of tin have continually been a secret, however the writer has unearthed archaeological proof from around the world to track the tinfields used sooner than the invention of eu deposits. he's taking us on a desirable voyage of discovery during the historical international, delving into mythology, and enlivening his scholarly textual content with quotations from the Classics and funny anecdotes. As his identify indicates, Roger Penhallurick's roots are deep in Cornwall - previously the world's greatest tin manufacturer, and nonetheless the best in Europe. So it truly is becoming that the Cornish part includes virtually part the ebook, for the 1st time accumulating jointly the entire facts for tin streaming among 2000 BC and advert one thousand. All surviving artifacts recovered from the tin workings are illustrated and installed their archaeological context. The ebook is lavishly illustrated all through, together with many infrequent outdated pictures, and has a whole bibliography of the wealth of resources that experience contributed to this paintings
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Additional resources for Tin in antiquity : its mining and trade throughout the ancient world with particular reference to Cornwall
The texts from Mari show a way out of the difficulty by also recording tin being shipped up the Euphrates, presumably from the Persian Gulf, pointing to a distant origin involving maritime trade. But what of tin in the rest of Iran? It is a huge country, larger than the combined total areas of the UK, Eire, the Low Countries, France, and Iberia. ' Unhappily, van Baer's mines do not exist. There is no evidence of workable tin in Iran. l" it remains to be proved. Writers have often assumed the presence of tin without question.
Texts dealing with the Assyrian trade are dated to c. 1950-1850 BC, and the Akkadian texts from Mari and elsewhere cover the period 1800-1750 BC. Muhly has constructed a map of the trade rQUtes,32one going as far north as Hasanlu, only 160 km south ofTabriz and less than 320 from the Soviet border on the Araxes river, all of which is rather academic if there is no convincing evidence that tin could have travelled south along it. The texts from Mari show a way out of the difficulty by also recording tin being shipped up the Euphrates, presumably from the Persian Gulf, pointing to a distant origin involving maritime trade.
The problem in antiquity in the Near East was to obtain a regular supply. 14 That the lines were readily broken is a demonstration of their length in politically unstable areas. Furthermore, natural hazards might be equally disruptive. The logical conclusion is that the tin came from a remote area. Tin was not the only prized mineral sought after in remote areas. It is instructive to look at the quest for two semi-precious stones, which admirably demonstrates the extraordinary journeys prehistoric men endured to obtain them, and leads us by degrees to identifying distant tin-fields.