Early Iron Age metal circulation in the Arabian Peninsula: the oasis of Taymāʾ as part of a dynamic network (poster)
Keywords:Taymā, archaeometallurgy, copper, bronze, Early Iron Age
The oasis of Taymāʾ, located in north-western Arabia, between the Ḥijāz mountains and the great Nafūd desert, was strategically situated on one of the branches of the main trade routes that connected southern Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea during the first millennium BC. During archaeological excavations at this site — a project carried out by a Saudi Arabian-German team — an architectural complex of public character dated to the Early Iron Age (eleventh-ninth centuries BC) was investigated in Area O, in the south-western section of the ancient settlement. Among other finds, a significant concentration of luxury goods (i.e. objects made of ivory, wood, bone, and faïence) was discovered there, together with a few iron and several copper-based artefacts. Of this assemblage, fifty-eight copper-based objects have been analysed by portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF), while sixteen have undergone trace element and lead isotope analyses. The objects chosen to be analysed included everyday items, such as rivets and fragments of rods, three small metal lumps, and a bracelet. The data on their elemental composition and lead isotope signatures combined to indicate that different metal sources were used, suggesting the existence of a highly dynamic metal trade in the wider region during the Early Iron Age.
How to Cite
Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK