Cyprus was undoubtedly the main area of production of the copper oxhide ingots found in different Mediterranean countries. Recent research at Politiko Phorades and Maroni shows that the casting of the oxhide ingots required a complex process which involved both inland mining and coastal sites. Egyptian and Near Eastern written sources suggest that not only oxhide ingots but possibly other raw copper (ore, matte or other semi-processed material) were exported from Alashiya/Cyprus. However, lead isotope analysis of some ingots from Late Minoan I contexts and archaeological evidence from Ras Ibn Hani, in the Ugaritic kingdom, and Timna, in the political domain of Egypt, show that the oxhide ingots were not cast only in Cyprus, from at least the beginning of the Late Bronze Age to the last centuries of the second millennium BC. Leaving aside the copper oxhide ingots depicted in the well-known scenes of tribute of the Theban tombs, special attention is here paid to Egyptian foundry scenes, especially that depicted in Hepu tomb. A group of oxhide ingots is here displayed above the craftsmen who are represented in act of fanning a fire. A review of Egyptian scenes of various workshops shows that from the Old Kingdom the products of the working activities are generally displayed in the same way as in the Hepu tomb. It is therefore very likely that the aim of this scene is to epitomize the casting of the copper oxhide ingots displayed above. If this interpretation is right, the production of copper oxhide ingots should be admitted also in Egypt during the 15th-14th centuries BC, although on a far smaller scale than in Cyprus. The foundry scene in Nebamūn and Ipuki tomb is more ambiguous, but it may also depict the casting of a tin slab ingot.
|Autori interni:||GRAZIADIO, GIAMPAOLO|
|Titolo:||The oxhide ingots production in the Eastern Mediterranean|
|Anno del prodotto:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|