Why did the use of antimony-bearing alloys in Bronze Age Anatolia fall dormant after the Early Bronze Age?: A Case from Resuloglu (corum, Turkey)


Dardeniz G.

PLOS ONE, cilt.15, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

Özet

The archaeometallurgical and archaeological research carried out in Anatolia has provided numerous examples of diverse alloying practices representing different levels of societal interaction, from the extraction of ores to the trade of finished goods and high level gift exchange among elites. While discussions abound about the exploitation of mines, mining settlements, possible origins of artifacts, resources of copper, arsenic, and especially tin to improve our knowledge about Anatolian Bronze Age mining and metallurgy, uncommon alloying practices including the use of antimony, nickel, or lead have long remained in the shadows of scholarly research. With the aim of bringing attention to the diversity in alloying practices in Anatolian metallurgy, this article focuses on the use of antimony through an appraisal of archaeological and textual evidence from Bronze Age Anatolia. Archaeometric data from several Early Bronze Age sites are re-examined alongside new data emerging from Resuloglu (corum, Turkey) to explain the reduction of the variety of alloy types used. Portable-XRF analysis of artifacts from Resuloglu and mineralogical analysis of an antimony-bearing ore fragment present evidence of use of antimony at the region during the Early Bronze Age. This period is followed by disappearance of antimony in material record until the Iron Age, while textual records weakly refer to its circulation within the region. This paper considers geological, technological, and socio-economic factors to explain why the use of antimony alloys falls dormant after the Early Bronze Age. The political and economic change towards centralization over geological and technological factors is proposed as an explanation.