Blinov I.A., Tairov A.D. Chemical Composition of Metal in Copper and Bronze Arrowheads from the Kichigino I Burial Ground

 
Ivan A. Blinov, Candidate of Sciences (Geology-Mineralogy), Researcher, South Urals Research Center of Mineralogy and Geoecology of the Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ilmen Reserve Territory, Build 1, 456317 Miass, Russian Federation
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Alexandr D. Tairov, Doctor of Sciences (History), Director of the Scientific and Educational Center Eurasian Studies, South Ural State University (National Research University), Prosp. Lenin, 76, 454080 Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation
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Abstract. This study concerns 580 bronze arrowheads from five burials of the Kichigino I cemetery (southern Trans-Urals), dated from the second half of the sixth to the second half of the fourth centuries BC. The main component in all arrowheads was copper with admixtures of arsenic, antimony, lead, tin and nickel. The research revealed that the Early nomads’ non-ferrous metal sources changed approximately in the middle of the fourth century BC. Initially, almost all metal came from Itkul metallurgy and metalworking center located in the southern Trans-Urals forest-steppe area. Pure copper without addition as well as alloys with additive of arsenic, occasionally with arsenic and antimony were overwhelmingly applied. In the next period, there are plenty of arrowheads made of copper alloys containing lead as a component; its sources are located to the southwest and west of the Trans-Urals. The transition to new metal sources was caused on the one hand by massive migrations of the Trans-Ural steppe nomadic population to the southern Cis-Urals, on the other, by gradual decline of the Itkul center of metallurgy during the fourth century BC and by the complete reserve depletion in the third century BC. Reuse of tin-alloyed bronze items from earlier times was caused by lack of the non-ferrous metal supplied by the Itkul metallurgists. Furthermore, results of metals analysis indicate that there is no relationship between the shape of the arrowheads and the composition of the metal in them. Arrowheads of the same shape could be made of different metal composition, and, by contrast, arrowheads of different shapes were made from the same metal.
Key words: Southern Trans-Urals, Early Iron Age, X-ray fluorescence, arrowheads, sources of non-ferrous metal.
Citation. Blinov I.A., Tairov A.D., 2022. Himicheskiy sostav metalla mednyh i bronzovyh nakonechnikov strel mogil’nika Kichigino I [Chemical Composition of Metal in Copper and Bronze Arrowheads from the Kichigino I Burial Ground]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 91-118. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2022.1.5
 
Chemical Composition of Metal in Copper and Bronze Arrowheads from the Kichigino I Burial Ground by Blinov I.A., Tairov A.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 
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