Paul Craddock and Janet Lang 

Hardback. 296p, 186 b/w & 46 col illus (British Museum Press 2003). Publishers price € 78,00.

This volume grew out of the proceedings of an international conference on the Prehistory of Mining and Metallurgy hosted by The British Museum in 1995. The original papers are augmented by the inclusion of participants' more recent work and additional contributions by other leading experts in the field. Among the varied topics are the early development of copper smelting technology as exemplified at Feinan, Jordan, the recognition of Bronze Age copper mining in the British Isles and the discovery of Bronze Age tin mining and processing at Kestel and Göltepe in Turkey. The excavation of ancient smelting sites, long confined to Europe and the Near East, is now occurring in other parts of the world, as shown by reports on copper smelting in China and South Africa. More complex extraction processes include the treatment of silver-rich jarosite ores, crucible processes, and the production of brass by direct processes. The emphasis throughout the volume is on the technology of the processes, but other aspects are also considered, including the mineralogy of the ores likely to have been used in the past, the effects of extractive metallurgy on the environment, and the long-term interaction of mining technology with local communities.

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