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