Secrets of an ancient copper workshop: it is 6,500 years old and was discovered in the Negev desert

Scientists have discovered the secrets of the ancient copper workshop

In the Negev desert, the archaeologists made an amazing discovery. They discovered an ancient copper workshop. Supposedly, it was created about 6,500 years ago. By studying its features, the specialists from the Tal Aviv University hope to learn the secrets of the ancient copper production. The peculiarity lies in the fact that all processes for the production of the copper products were kept in the strictest confidence, it is why the scientists consider the find to be a rare piece of luck.

The copper ore smelting workshop once operated in the Neve Noi area of Beer Sheva that was considered as the capital city. The excavations at the site of its existence began in 2017. The study shows that the site may have been the first innovative apparatus on our planet, it is a smelting furnace.

A university professor Talia Abulafia believes that the excavations revealed an evidence of the copper production during the Chalcolithic period. Among the various finds is a small workshop, where fragments of a furnace were found. It was a small installation made of tin. Copper ore was smelted in it, as evidenced by the remains of copper slag. Although at that time metalworking was already in use, most of the tools were made of stone.

The fragments of the furnace were subjected to isotope analysis of the ore residues, it helped to find out that the raw ore could have been supplied from a site located about 100 kilometers from the place where the workshop itself was located.

Copper was purified for the first time in history, the process of its smelting was carried out away from the mines. It was only later that smelting furnaces began to be built near the deposits.

The scientists believe that the reason for the remote location of the workshop is due to the fact that the craftsmen carefully guarded the secrets of the production of the copper and products from it.

The ancient technology had its advantages: the furnace reached extremely high temperatures and pieces of ore were placed in it, then the craftsmen used a special smelting process. The obtained copper could be traded, it was bought by the representatives of the Hasulian culture from Beer Sheva and sold. By the way, each workshop for the production of that material had its own secret, and it was carefully guarded.