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Title: An Archaeo-Metallurgical Study of the Early and Middle Bronze Age in Luristan, Iran
Author(s): BEGEMANN, Friedrich , HAERINCK, Ernie , OVERLAET, Bruno , SCHMITT-STRECKER, Sigrid , TALLON, Françoise
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 43 Date: 2008
Copper-base artefacts from Bronze Age Luristan have been analysed for their chemical composition and the isotopic composition of their lead. We find no significant systematic differences between a group of objects recovered in the Pusht-i Kuh region in the course of controlled excavations during the Belgian Archaeological Mission in Iran (BAMI) and a second group of artefacts from the Louvre Museum which were acquired on the art market. According to these material features the objects from the art market are made of genuine “Luristan” metal which does not exclude the possibility that the artefacts are recent forgeries made of “old” metal. The data suggest a large fraction of the artefacts, copper and bronze, to derive from copper ores as they are available in the eastern part of the central Zagros Mountains from where also tin ores have been reported. Bronzes with high 206Pb-normalized abundance ratios, conspicuous in contemporary Mesopotamia, are missing in Luristan. We have no satisfactory explanation to offer why the manifold cultural and material connections between Mesopotamia and Luristan should have excluded the trade in bronzes with such exceptional lead isotopy.