Some broken vessels from all selected samples belonging to Sangtarashan archaeological site.
Some broken vessels from all selected samples belonging to Sangtarashan archaeological site.

Archaeological excavations in western Iran have recently revealed a significant Luristan Bronzes collection from Sangtarashan archaeological site. The site and its bronze collection are dated to Iron Age II/III of western Iran (10th–7th century BC) according to archaeological research. Alloy composition, microstructure and manufacturing technique of some sheet metal vessels are determined to reveal metallurgical processes in western Iran in the first millennium BC. Experimental analyses were carried out using Scanning Electron Microscopy–Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy and Optical Microscopy/Metallography methods. The results allowed reconstructing the manufacturing process of bronze vessels in Luristan. It proved that the samples have been manufactured with a binary copper–tin alloy with a variable tin content that may relates to the application of an uncontrolled procedure to make bronze alloy (e.g. co-smelting or cementation). The presence of elongated copper sulphide inclusions showed probable use of copper sulphide ores for metal production and smelting. Based on metallographic studies, a cycle of cold working and annealing was used to shape the bronze vessels.

This paper was originally published in the Materials Characterization 97 (2014) 74-82.

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