Archaeologists discover a 6,500-year-old copper smelting furnace

Archaeological Science magazine has published news about the discovery by Israeli researchers of what could be the first furnace in history, where a small workshop where copper smelted was found, and some copper coins were found inside that furnace. The history of the furnace dates back more than 6,500 years since the Copper Age, and this discovery came after 3 years of hard work by archaeologists.

Initial studies indicated that the oven was well prepared, as it is not an ordinary thing, but it was able to melt the metals at a high temperature, which indicates that they were prepared with great perfection. Studies show that multiple copper and tin fragments have been found in many furnaces in the region. It was confirmed as a large copper smelting workshop.

The chemical analyzes also revealed that the smelting process took place in two stages, the first: It was a primary smelting process that relied on the furnace itself. As for the second stage: it depends on purification through the crucibles attached to the workshop.

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The researchers also found evidence that this workshop is linked to the Wadi El Fenan region, where there are copper quarries, and is more than 60 miles from the site of the discovered workshop. But they believed that this workshop might have been far in that direction due to its production of precious copper that had never been found in Wadi El Fenan.

It is clear that the area extending from the Beersheba Valley to present-day southern Lebanon was a region of significant copper production. This is evidenced by the copper coins from previous excavations carried out in the area, and they are products that the Jerusalem Museum still maintains.

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