Archaeo-mineralogical Characterization of ancient copper and Turquoise mining in south Sinai, Egypt

Mohamed M. Megahed

Abstract


Egyptians probably drew their first supplies of copper as native metal and
step by step from the abundant malachite stones found in south Sinai region
and in the hills near Red Sea in the eastern desert.
There was integrated between the mines of copper and the mines of turquoise
in the literature studies of south Sinai, especially in wadi El-Maghara, Wadi
El-Nasib, Wadi Kharag and serabit El-Khadim, so this study tries to clear this
point and determine exactly the mines of copper and the mines of turquoise.
The study aims to investigate the source zones for copper in south Sinai,
Egypt during the pharaonic ages, to determine the extent of a manufacturing
centre and its position and to know the systems of metallurgical works, fire
places, furnaces, etc.
To achieve that the study had two main aspects: first, a serious survey to
investigate of the mines of south Sinai was a cured; several different mining
features were randomly chosen for excavation such as open cisterns, plates
and galleries, collected every small things and fine details of the mining
technology used at these sites.
Secondly: Careful investigations by a serial of different analytical techniques
for Ore and slag samples from the selected mines have been applied; the
obtained information can be married up and exploited to determine exactly
the main activity for each site.


Parole chiave


South Sinai; copper ore; turquoise; slag; analysis; stereo microscope; XRF; XRD

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