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Title: An investigation of the distribution and fate of the metalliferous ejecta produced by smelting copper ore, in a simulated prehistoric simple bowl
Author: Haslam, Robert R
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis presents a basis for estimating the weight of copper produced at small scale, prehistoric smelting sites. Known weights of natural and synthetic roasted chalcopyrite and malachite were smelted in a replica simple bowl furnace. The synthetic ores were manufactured from laboratory reagents. The spatial distribution of the metalliferous ejecta, i.e. the material blown from the furnace by the forced draught, was determined using an empirically derived sampling regime. The deposited metal concentrations and nature of the ejecta particles were determined using ICP-OES and SEM/EDX analysis. Further smelts determined the spatial distribution of the ejecta at a range of wind speeds. The smelting results showed that metal deposition was directly proportional to the weight of metal in the ore. The results also showed that the total deposition of each metal, expressed as a percentage of the metal present in the ore, fell within a narrow range and suggested that this percentage may be a constant for smelting in a simple bowl furnace. The long-term fate of metals from the ejecta was determined using field and laboratory tests and replica ejecta manufactured from laboratory reagents. The field tests were run for 1 year and validated the laboratory based accelerated weathering regime, which was used to determine the fate of ejecta metals for a simulated 50 year period. Soils were analysed by ICP-OES and, based on the results, typical metal pollution 'footprints', from smelting in a simple bowl furnace at different wind speeds, were produced. Mathematical relationships between the concentrations of 5 metals deposited by the ejecta, and concentrations still sorbed to particular soil fractions after the simulated 50 year weathering period were determined. By using the 'footprints' and mathematical relationships, the concentrations of As, Bi, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn found in soils in the immediate vicinity of an ancient copper smelting site may be used to estimate the weight of unrefined copper produced at the site.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available