«BULLETIN OF THE IRKUTSK STATE UNIVERSITY. GEOARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY, AND ANTHROPOLOGY SERIES»
ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2013. Vol. 1

Mining and Metallurgical Centers of the Bronze Age in the Transurals and Mugodzhar

Author(s)
V. V. Zaykov, A. M. Yuminov, M. N. Ankushev, V. Tkachev, V. V. Noskevich, A. V. Epimakhov
Abstract

The article presents the data of the Transurals and Mugodzhar mining and metallurgical centers, which territories were used as deposits in ultrabasic, basalt and rhyolitebasalt volcanic rocks. The main method of extraction was mining, determined by the veindisseminated nature of primary ore. The most abundant mines of the Transurals and Mugodzhar area estimated approx. 50 000 MT of copper ore, corresponding to 1500 MT of possibly extracted copper. For the Ishkininskiy mine the existing knoweledge tells that the extractions were held in 2400–1500 BC, besides, the miners returned to their work for three times. Using the radiocarbon method the settlement is dated 2150–1500 BC but the main mound burial places are dated XVII–XIV BC. A special analysis of mineral and microinclusions in the melt slags was held to determine types of bronze and investigate the ore source. Studies were made using the equipment of the Mineralogy Institute of UB RAS: Xray fluorescence INNOV, microprobe JEOL-733 and raster РЭММА 202М. The preliminary type of micro-inclusions is a chromite – FeCr2O4 – mineral of chromospinelide group that has Mg, Al, Ti, Mn, Zn, V as impurities in different proportions. The chromite slag presence indicates the use of ores associated with ultrabasic rocks. Due to the minimal impact of the molten slag on the chromite, the study of this mineral permits to evaluate the possible ore sources used by paleometallurgists. A rare event is an inclusion of sulphide chalcocite Cu2S, traced in the slags of settlements Arkaim and Kamenniy Ambar (Stone Barn). The results of the study of metal inclusions from ancient slags in the Southern Urals show that the raw materials of arsenic and nickel-containing objects was often used. This fact is supported by associating arsenic and nickel metals with the inclusions of chromospinelides from the ore-bearing ultrabasic rocks. In addition, there were found the slags with the tinny microinclusions, indicating the existence of tin bronze production in the Urals.

Keywords
mines, mining and metallurgical centers, Bronze Age, slags, microinclusions, malachite, chromite, chalcocite
UDC
549.2 (470.5)

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