book reviews studied metallographically to determine how the metal in them was actually used-- there are no micrographs anywhere in this volume, a regretable omission. For the purposes in which bronze was used in the ancient world, a wide range of tin contents, from 5 percent to 15 percent, would suffice, and was used satisfactorily. Equally, existing copper compositions were competitive, with a Cu2 percent arsenic composition providing blade edges as hard as the bronzes that replaced them in a metal that was easier to forge. Even the iron impurity found in many ancient Near Eastern coppers could make a significant contribution to mechanical properties. This knowledge has been available to metallurgists since the 1920s. This reliance on a numerical definition of the act of alloying is part of a rather oldfashioned approach to ancient metallurgy. This is exemplified by Muhly's contribution on ``Copper and bronze in the eastern Mediterranean,'' and to a lesser extent Stech's paper, although Muhly recognizes more than others the place of recycling. The papers read like lists of copper alloy objects containing tin, which, without maps or graphics, is extremely unhelpful to the reader not already informed about the material. The papers on
Asian Perspectives – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 11, 2001
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