International workshop “BRONZE AGE TIN – Geological sources, production, and distribution of tin in Bronze Age Eurasia” from 14 to 16 March 2018 at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim, Germany

BRONZE AGE TIN is a multidisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council comprising archaeology, history, geochemistry, and geology, conducted by scientists from the University of Heidelberg and the Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie in Mannheim.

The objective is to decipher the enigma of the origin of tin in the early bronzes by combining new archeological data and tin isotope ratios. These bronzes appear in a wide area stretching from the Aegean to the Persian Gulf, but this region is geologically devoid of any tin deposits.

The results of this research will be presented and discussed during four half-day sessions on geology and ore deposits, metallurgy and archaeology. In addition, there will be a welcome meeting on Wednesday evening, 14 March, a symposium dinner on Friday evening, 16 March, and the option for a tour through the Old City of Heidelberg on Saturday, 17 March 2018.

There will be only invited talks, but anyone interested is invited to participate. Use the links below for downloading the workshop programme and the registration form. Please send the completed registration form to the workshop office ( Details on the venue and the arrival will follow at the beginning of 2018.

Your Contact:
Workshop program
Registration form

General information

Spitzenforschung in luftiger Höhe

Neues Massenspektrometer eingetroffen

Um auf dem modernsten Stand der Technik zu sein, vervollständigt jetzt ein neues Massenspektrometer die Laborausstattung der Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbH. Die Anschaffung des Geräts war möglich durch Drittmittelförderung im Rahmen des  ERC-Projekts BronzeAgeTin – Tin Isotopes and the Sources of Bronze Age Tin in the Old World (FP7/SP2-Ideas).

Bereits die Anlieferung des0564 2,5 Tonnen schweren Geräts erforderte Fingerspitzengefühl und Vorbereitung. Die Straße zwischen den Quadraten D5 und D6 musste für mehrere Stunden gesperrt werden. Ein Kran hob die wertvolle Fracht in luftige Höhe. Die schweren Kisten mussten über das Dach des fünfstöckigen Gebäudes in D6 gehoben werden, wo sie auf der Rückseite durch ein ausmontiertes Fenster ins  Haus  geholt wurden. Mit Hilfe des neuen Massenspektrometers werden verschiedene Isotopenverhältnisse bestimmt.

ERC-Project Bronze Age Tin (FP7/SP2-Ideas)

This multidisciplinary project comprising archaeology, history, geochemistry and geology aims at the decipherment of the enigma of the origin of a material that emerged in the third millennium BC and gave an entire cultural epoch its name, namely the alloy of copper and tin called bronze. While copper deposits are relatively widely distributed there are only very few tin deposits known in the Old World (Europe, the Mediterranean basin and southwest Asia). Since the late 19th century archaeologists have discussed the question of the provenance of tin for the production of the earliest bronzes without any definite answer. The enigma has even grown over the past decades, because it turned out that the earliest bronzes appear in a wide area stretching from the Aegean to the Persian Gulf that is geologically devoid of any tin deposits. There is tin in western and central Europe and there is also tin in central Asia. Thus, tin or bronze seems to have been traded over large distances but it is unknown in which direction. Weiterlesen