"Asiatic" copper in New Kingdom Egypt
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This work presents a combination of Lead Isotope Analysis ( LIA ) and ancient Egyptian texts and depictions in order to describe the history of the ox -hide copper ingots presence in Egypt , which w ere called by the Egyptians “Asiatic copper”. Ox-hide ingots in Egypt represent a particular case where the information given by ancient sources and modern chemical analyses might be combined in order to establish the provenance of archaeological objects and the hist ory of a particular m aterial during the Bronze Age. Ox -hide ingots arrived to Egypt where the first kings of the Egyptian New Kingdom developed an impressive building program through the entire country and needed a supply of copper and other materials. The “Asiatic copper” was depicted in different tombs and temples from the 18 th to the 20 th dynasties in Thebes and Amarna. According to depictions and texts, three different regions supplied copper according to ancient Egyptians: Syria, Cyprus and Crete. Howe ver, the LIA of the lead present in mined copper permits to establish that the ingots were made of copper from Apliki mines, in Central Cyprus. The depictions in Egyptian tombs and temples probably represented not only the actual region of provenance but a lso the peoples involved in the trade, because t he ingots were traded by Syrian merchants following a route that passed Syria, Cyprus, Crete and Greece
CitationGimenez, F. "Asiatic" copper in New Kingdom Egypt. "Damqatum", 2015, vol. 11, p. 11-17.