Archaeology – Master's Degree 2014
Prehistoric mining and metallurgy
Status: optional
Recommended Year of Study: 1
Recommended Semester: 1
ECTS Credits Allocated: 6.00
Pre-requisites: None

Course objectives: To introduce students to the begginings of archaeometallurgical research, the study of prehistoric mines and identifying archaeometallurgical sites in Serbia.

Course description: Modern research on late prehistoric cultures from the bronze, copper and iron ages more often than not uses physical and chemical analysis of metal objects in order to investigate metal products as well as discovering archaeometallurgical centers. Therefore it is important to introduce archaeology students to the basic result that can be obtained through the analysis of the raw materials, make up of ore, metal and slag, as well as the necessary tools needed for metallurgy (kilns for smelting, bellows, vessels for smelting, moulds, ingots, etc.). Special attention is directed at the research in early metallurgy of copper, since the oldest copper mines from the European early Eneolithic have been found in the Balkans- Rudna Glava near Majdanpek and Ai Bunar near Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. Regarding archaeometallurgical sites outside of the Balkan, during this course there will be word about copper production in Timna in Israel, famous mines in Laurion in Greece and Rio Tinto in Spain. Smaller thematic modules will be dedicated to the first objects made using smelting and hammering techniques out of copper, tin and arsenic bronze, gold, silver and iron. Students will be encouraged to actively participate in classes independently or in groups, by preparing and presenting small thematic units, either about physical and chemical analysis (lead isotopes in copper ore, spectrographic analysis, etc) or archaeological data regarding archaeometallurgy.

Learning Outcomes: Essay and oral examination

  • DURMAN A., Metal u vučedolskom kulturnom kompleksu. U: VUČEDOL. Treće tisućljeće p.n.e (ur. A. Durman), Zagreb 1988 (katalog izložbe Muzejski prostor Zagreb), 32-38.
  • Pleiner R., Iron in Archaeology. The European Bloomery Smelters, Praha 2000
  • - ČERNYH E., Ai – bunarskii mednii rudnik IV tisočletie do n.e. na Balkanah, (na ruskom) Sovjetskaja arheologija, Moskva 1975.
  • - KUNA M., Zur neolitischen und äneolithischen Kupherverarbeitung in Gebiet Jugoslaviens, Godišnja CBI XIX/17, Sarajevo, 1981
  • HARDING A., European Societies in the Bronze Age, Cambridge University Press 2000, 197-241 (Chapter 6. Metals)
  • JOVANOVIĆ B., Metalurgija eneolitskog perioda Jugoslavije, Beograd 1971
  • JOVANOVIĆ B., Rudna Glava. Najstarije rudarstvo bakra na Centralnom Balkanu, Bor-Beograd 1982
  • DURMAN A., Metal u vučedolskom kulturnom kompleksu. U: VUČEDOL. Treće tisućljeće p.n.e (ur. A. Durman), Zagreb 1988 (katalog izložbe Muzejski prostor Zagreb), 32-38
  • CRADDOCK, Paul, Early Metal Mining and Production, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 1995.
  • ROTHENBERG B., Timna, Thames and Hudson, London 1972
  • COPPER AGE IN THE NEAR EAST AND EUROPE, International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP) XIII, Colloquim XIX – Metallurgy: Origins and Technology (ed. B. Bagolini, F.