Behavioral Metallurgy of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Neo-Punic Peoples

Author(s): Brett Kaufman

Year: 2015


Some cultures do not just adopt or develop innovative technologies, but actually define themselves based on their technological acumen. The Phoenicians were such a culture, whose economic reliance on metallurgical and maritime knowledge went further in defining their long-term communal cohesion than did other factors. Lacking historical texts written by Phoenicians, it is only through archaeology and archaeometric analyses that such a resource-based ideology can be reconstructed. Compositional and microstructural characterization using pXRF, XRD, VPSEM-EDS and metallography demonstrates that various Phoenician groups—from Tyrians to Carthaginians to Neo-Punic Roman subjects—manipulated a wide range of metallurgical techniques in order to preserve political autonomy, dominate trade in tin and precious metals, expand militarily, and subsist as colonial subjects. Metallurgical remains of ferrous and non-ferrous forging, smithing, and melting activities from three sites spanning roughly 1400 years are analyzed and interpreted through the lens of an identity based in technological achievement.

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Cite this Record

Behavioral Metallurgy of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Neo-Punic Peoples. Brett Kaufman. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396501)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;