Magan – The Land of Copper: Prehistoric Metallurgy of Oman [Paperback]

Claudio Giardino(Author)

ISBN: 9781789691788 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Series: The Archaeological Heritage of Oman | Volume: 2 | Year of Publication: 2019 | 200p, H11.75 x W8.25, 150 figures, 14 tables (color throughout)
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Magan – The Land of Copper


The development of a prehistoric civilization in the Sultanate of Oman was strongly connected with the exploitation and the use of copper. The Oman Peninsula has several rich copper ore deposits that have been exploited since prehistoric times. The earliest evidence of metallurgical activities in Oman dates back to the end of the Neolithic period in the 4th millennium BC. Thanks to the availability of this precious raw material, Oman became one of the main copper sources for the entire Middle East during the Bronze Age. The cuneiform texts of Mesopotamia referred to Oman as the Land of Magan, a region where the precious copper was found in fabulous abundance. This volume describes the geography and environments of Oman, its rich copper ore deposits and the ancient mining and smelting techniques, and it also includes an overview of the physical properties of the different metals exploited in antiquity and of the analytical techniques used in archaeometallurgy. Moreover, the author presents for the first time a comprehensive and detailed typology of the metal objects discovered at sites in Oman dating to the millennia from the Neolithic up to the Early Iron Age, emphasizing the development of advanced alloying techniques in order to obtain artefacts with specific proprieties and appearance.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations and tables



1 – A country of environmental diversities

2 – A geological and mineralogical overview

3 – Basic elements of metallurgy

4 – Copper for Sumer

5 – The earliest appearance of metalworking

6 – Early Bronze Age: the Hafit period, ca. 3200-2800 BC

7 – Early Bronze Age: the Umm an-Nar period, ca. 2800-2000 BC

8 – The prehistoric copper mines

9 – Copper smelting in prehistoric Oman

10 – Middle and Late Bronze Age: the Wadi Suq period. ca. 2000-1300 BC

11 – Early Iron Age, ca. 1300-300 BC

12 – Chemical-Physical Analyses by Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) – by Claudio Giardino and Giovanni Paternoster

Bibliographical references


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