From mines to graves: metallurgy and metal exchange in north-western Anatolia

Full Title: From mines to graves: metallurgy and metal exchange in north-western Anatolia between the Late Chalcolithic and the Late Bronze Age, ca 3700-1500 BC

Location:  Kütahya 

Year(s):  2016-2018

Director: Michele Massa, Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University


Michele Massa, Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, director
Erkan Fidan, Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, Bronze Age archaeologist
Joseph Lehner, Sydney University, collaborator and metallurgy consultant
Emre Kuruçayırlı, Koç University, metallurgy analist
Amy Richardson, Oxford University, pXRF specialist (2018-)

Orlene McIlfatrick, Edinburgh University, pXRF specialist (2016-2017)

Funding:  BIAA, Sydney University

Under BIAA SRI(s):  Cultural heritage, society and economy in Turkey, Habitat and Settlement in prehistoric, historical and contemporary perspectives, Interconnections of peace and conflict: culture, politics institutions in national, regional and international perspectives

Summary: "From Mines to Graves" is a four-year interdisciplinary project dedicated to shedding light on the early stages of metallurgy in western Anatolia (Turkey) between the Late Chalcolithic and the Middle Bronze Age (approximately mid-4th and the mid-2nd millennia BC). It focuses on an area replete with metal deposits (copper, gold and silver) and numerous Bronze Age mines, including Gümüşköy that still represents today the most important resource of silver in Turkey. Our project builds upon numerous archaeometallurgical surveys and analyses conducted by other teams in the 1980s and 1990s, in an attempt to provide a more solid archaeological context for their results and provide new datasets to better understand:

a) the dynamics of exploitation of the metal deposits in the region,

b) the metallurgical technologies behind the manufacture of metal objects,

c) the formation and development of metal exchange networks in Chalcolithic and Bronze Age western Anatolia.

The project has two main components: on the one side, lab analyses on raw materials, manufacturing debris and finished products are allowing us to understand the processes behind manufacture, to identify the possible origin of the raw metals employed in the production and to sketch some of the main exchange routes. On the other side, a fieldwork survey directed by Erkan Fidan has started shedding light on the dynamics of metal extraction and refinement at several mining sites.

Resulting Publications: 

Massa M., Fidan E.  and O. McIlfatrick (submitted). PXRF analyses on the metal artefacts from the Early Bronze Age necropolis of Küçükhöyük, inland western Anatolia (Turkey): insights into metal production and exchange, Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry (6000 words).

Fidan E., Massa M. and O. McIlfatrick (submitted). Metallurgy at Küllüoba, a Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age settlement in Eskişehir (Turkey), Arkeoloji ve Sanat (5000 words).

Massa, M. and E. Fidan (in press). Pxrf Yöntemi İle İç Batı Anadolu’da Erken Madencilik Aşamalarının Araştırılması: 2016 Yılı Çalışmaları, Arkeometri Sonuçları Toplantısı XXXIII (1500 words)

Fidan, E., Massa, M. and O. McIlfatrick (in press). Höyüktepe'de Erken ve Orta Tunç Çağı metalurjisi, in Türktüzün, M. and S. Ünan, “Kureyşler Barajı Kurtarma Kazıları 2015”, Kütahya, Kütahya Müzesi Müdürlüğü. 

Fidan E., Massa M., McIlfatrick O., Üyülmez M., ve A. Ilaslı (2017). Afyon Arkeoloji Müzesi’nden Tunç Çağlarına Tarihlenen Bir Grup Metal Eser, Colloquium Anatolicum 16, 55-70. 

Massa, M. (2017). Madenlerden mezarlara: M.Ö.3700-1600 yıllarında, Kuzeybatı Anadolu’da metalurji ve metal ürünlerin değiş tokuşu. Arkeoloji ve Sanat, 154, 166-169.

Massa M., McIlfatrick O. and E. Fidan (2017). Patterns of metal procurement, manufacture and exchange in the Early Bronze Age northwestern Anatolia: Demircihüyük and beyond, Anatolian Studies 67: 53-83.

Massa M., Fidan, E. and O. McIlfatrick (2017). Çiledir Höyük ve Seyiyömer Höyük Erken ve Orta Tunç Çağı metalurjisi, in Ünan, S. ‘Kütahya Müzesi 2015 Yıllığı’, Kütahya, Kütahya Müzesi Müdürlüğü, 299-323.

Massa, M. (2016). The early stages of metallurgy and metal exchange in northwestern Turkey, Heritage Turkey 6, 23.

Michele Massa was the 2014-2015 BIAA Research Assistant and is now a honorary research fellow. He organised the 2012 BIAA workshop “Travelling across ancient Anatolia: revealing a palimpsest of road use from the Early Bronze Age to the Achaemenid period” and was in the Scientific Committee of the 2014 BIAA international conference “Pathways of communication: routes and roads in Anatolia from prehistory to Seljuk times”. He completed his doctoral research at University College London in 2016 with a thesis on cultural transfers between Anatolia and Aegean during the Early Bronze Age, and he is now teaching as Junior Lecturer at the Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University.

Belongs to;
Archaeology and Related Disciplines

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